Priyanka takes up reins of UP east, dons gen secy cap
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday took charge as AICC general secretary at the party headquarters amid celebration and sloganeering. Priyanka was appointed as general secretary and incharge of Uttar Pradesh east on January 23 by her brother and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
Along with Priyanka, senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia took charge as the AICC general secretary incharge for Uttar Pradesh west. Both Priyanka and Scindia have been appointed with Rahul’s resolve to strengthen the party in the crucial State of Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 Lok Sabha seats.
AICC leaders said Priyanka is likely to begin her Uttar Pradesh tour from February 11. She may hold a road show in Lucknow and then address a meeting of UPCC office-bearers. Party workers engaged in UP election related activities exuded confidence that Priyanka would go to Prayagraj also to take a dip in the Sangam on the occasion of Kumbh Mela. She, along with Rahul, may also address a rally later this month.
While she met several party workers particularly those hailing from the eastern region of UP, Priyanka had a nearly two-hour long meeting with Rahul and Scindia to chalk out the Congress’ UP game plan.
Priyanka’s entry into active politics signals the Congress’ intention to go all out in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh. Eastern UP accounts for around 40 Lok Sabha seats. The region is a BJP stronghold that includes the Varanasi constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gorakhpur, the home turf of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Priyanka’s office is adjacent to the room of her brother at the party headquarters at Akbar Road here. She will attend her first official meeting on Thursday. Rahul has convened the meeting of all general secretaries and incharges of various States to plan the strategy for the Lok Sabha elections.
Soon after assuming the new charge at the Congress headquarters, Scindia performed a Ganesh pooja. He later met some party workers, including those from western Uttar Pradesh.
Scindia shared a video of the prayer ceremony on Twitter and said, “Took over as Congress general secretary after doing ‘Ganesh pooja’ at the AICC office, with the resolve of strengthening the party in the State.” Scindia (48), an MP from Guna in Madhya Pradesh, is already the party’s chief whip in the Lok Sabha.
He said the Congress has a good opportunity to make a comeback in Uttar Pradesh by winning a number of Lok Sabha seats to form a Government at the Centre. The scion of the erstwhile royal family of Gwalior, Scindia has been entrusted with the onerous task of strengthening the Congress in western Uttar Pradesh, where the party did not win any seat in the last Lok Sabha elections.
His skills will be put to test in the Hindi heartland State in uniting the party cadres. One of the main contenders for the chief minister’s post in Madhya Pradesh after the Assembly elections last year, he has settled for a Central role.
Thursday, 07 February 2019 | PNS | New Delhi
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