On day 1, Priyanka Gandhi warns party workers against infighting
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on day one as a party organizer in Uttar Pradesh opened up on her commitment to the state in one of the interactions with Congress officer bearers in Lucknow. She told the delegates that Congress Party needs to take immediate and tough decision for the Lok Sabha elections so that it remains in the fight but her real work in the state will only start after the Lok Sabha elections. She also said that she had enjoyed the organizational work since childhood as she had been involved in Rai Bareilly and Amethi for a long time and now would do the same with her experience to revive the party in Uttar Pradesh.
By saying this, Priyanka sent a clear signal to the party leaders that she is here to stay which Rahul Gandhi could not do despite intense engagement with UP politics both in 2007 and 2012 assembly elections.Rahul Gandhi had mentioned this in his speech on Monday which Priyanka vociferously emphasized during the closed door interaction. This becomes important in the context of the statement made by former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav. He categorically denied possibility of adjusting Congress with more seats in Uttar Pradesh and said,” Congress is part of SP-BSP alliance as we have already left Rai Bareilly and Amethi to them.”
She also told party workers that once she takes a call on the candidate for Lok Sabha constituency, factional fight should not break out in the unit. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also took suggestions on who should be made the state president of Uttar Pradesh. Currently, Raj Babbar is the head of Uttar Pradesh Congress. She also enquired into the knowledge of office bearers of their own constituencies. Lot of them were asked the question on number of booths there have in their area. Couple of gentlemen could not answer the question. She also sought opinion on issues which she should raise before the elections and sought opinion on the probable candidates from there respective areas for Lok Sabha constituency . She also enquired into programmes which local units had organized last year and what more needs to be done at the local level.
People who attended the meeting told that Priyanka took copious notes and entertained group photograph after each session. Jyotiraditya Scindia separately interacted with the office bearers in the same building. He is in charge of 38 Lok Sabha seats whereas Priyanka is looking after 42 seats. The closed meetings are expected to last till 14th evening after which Priyanka Gandhi would close her first leg of the Uttar Pradesh tour. The biggest challenge for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is to shortlist candidates for the elections. On the other hand, there exists a possibility of Congress accommodating smaller parties to strengthen position in certain constituencies. A proposal has been sent to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra but she has not taken a call to proceed on the offer. Congress has been out of power in Uttar Pradesh for last 30 years.