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Priyanka gets cracking after debut in UP as Cong gen secy

Press Trust of India  |  Lucknow 

A day after making her debut in Uttar Pradesh's political arena as Congress's general secretary, Tuesday got down to business, holding strategy sessions to script her party's victory in the upcoming parliamentary polls.

Returning to the state capital after a short visit to Jaipur, where her husband Robert and his mother appeared before the ED in connection with a probe into an alleged land scam in Rajasthan's border town of Bikaner, got cracking at the UP headquarters.

The party office here buzzed with activity as enthusiastic workers gathered outside the UPCC building, even before she returned from an overnight stay in

Immediately after reached the party office, she was closeted with senior leaders and office bearers of Lucknow, Mohanlalganj, Prayagraj, Ambedkar Nagar, Sitapur, Kaushambi, Fatehpur, Bahraich, and constituencies to galvanise the party's preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

is slated to continue this exercise Wednesday and Thursday with leaders of other constituencies which she has been asked to take care of in eastern by Rahul Gandhi, party sources said.

In an adjoining room, the newly appointed Congress incharge of western UP, Jyotiraditya Scinda, held deliberations with leaders from the constituencies he has been asked to groom.

Scindia too will hold strategy sessions over the next two days to ensure victory of candidates of the Congress, which has decided to go alone in all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state, they said.

and Scindia, along with Rahul Gandhi, had held a grand roadshow here on Monday, raising hopes of a turnaround in the party's fortunes.

Virtually launching the party's Lok Sabha poll campaign, asserted that it was the time to uproot the BJP and form government in the state.

Asserting that the party would "play on front foot", Monday said, "Till a Congress ideology government is installed here (UP), we will not rest, and ensure justice for farmers, the youth and the poor."

"Their (Priyanka and Scindia) aim is definitely the Lok Sabha elections, but it is also to bring a Congress government here," he had said, adding, "the Congress began its journey from and it cannot remain weak in the state... the Congress has to improve its performance in UP in the LS polls and from government in the next assembly elections".

Giving a sense what her entry means to the party workers in UP where the Congress has been struggling electorally for years, posters showed Priyanka Gandhi in 'Durga Mata' (Hindu Goddess) avatar riding a lion.

"Maa Durga ka roop behen Priyankaji (Sister Priyankaji is Maa Durga's incarnation)", said one poster, while some others highlighted her resemblance to Indira Gandhi, her grandmother.

Priyanka Gandhi's entry into active has been at a time when the party is not only witnessing one of the most difficult times electorally but has also been sidelined by prospective allies for 'mahagatbandhan', with the and totally ignoring it while forming their alliance.

"An alliance is also in the contest here and I have clearly said that I respect Mayawati ji and Akhilesh Yadav ji...but the Congress will fight with all its might for its ideology to change Uttar Pradesh," had said.

The Congress had fared miserably during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections by winning just two of 80 seats in the state.

The eastern UP, Priyanka Gandhi's area of responsibility, has Narendra Modi's constituency The region is also seen as a stronghold of Chief Minister

On the day of her political debut in UP, Priyanka Gandhi also joined and garnered a massive response with tens of thousands following her on the within hours.

A day before her maiden visit to Uttar Pradesh as Congress general secretary, Priyanka Gandhi had said that together with the people of the state she hopes to start a "new kind of politics" in which everyone will be a stakeholder.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 12 2019. 16:00 IST
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