Published On : Wed, Jan 23rd, 2019

Armed with Priyanka, Cong hopes to strike back in UP

The Congress in Uttar Pradesh said Priyanka Gandhi’s entry into formal politics will enthuse party workers to regain lost ground in the state in the Lok Sabha polls.

“This is an opportunity for the Congress to strike back in the most crucial state of the country where the organisation had all through been wanting her to plunge into active politics,” Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Rajiv Bakshi told PTI.

“We welcome both Priyankaji and Jyotiraditya Scindia to lead all of us, and look forward for a 40 plus tally for the party in the coming Lok Sabha polls,” Bakshi said.

His reaction came after the appointment of Priyanka Gandhi as Congress general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh East. Jyotiraditya Scindia is the All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary for UP East.

The party’s state unit was not immediately clear on the division of the 80 parliamentary seats between the two new in-charges. But some leaders believed it could be 40 each. Amethi and Rae Bareli, the two Gandhi family bastions, fall in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Bakshi said Priyanka Gandhi belongs to Uttar Pradesh and the party needed her. In the months ahead of the elections, she has been tasked to match the charisma of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, two star campaigners for the BJP who also have strong presence in the region.

While Modi represents Varanasi Lok Sabha seat, Adityanath Nath’s turf is Gorakhpur. “Our organisation has also been active, especially for the past one year, with the front units playing an important role,” Bakshi said.

UPCC general secretary Dwijendra Tripathi said making two general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh showed the seriousness Congress president Rahul Gandhi attaches to state. “Both are young and popular,’ he said. “They have a certain hold over the public and have leadership qualities and a rapport with the common man.” Congress leaders said Priyanka Gandhi’s into active party politics will galvanise the workers, helping them take on the dual challenge posed in the state by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance. — PTI

Image: A poster at the Congress office in Lucknow after Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was appointed the party’s General Secretary for Eastern Uttar Pradesh. Priyanka has been compared with her grandmother, former PM Indira Gandhi and the goddess Durga.