Priyanka Gandhi Reaches Lucknow, Begins Roadshow

Priyanka Gandhi Reaches Lucknow, Begins Roadshow

Priyanka Gandhi To Start Mission Uttar Pradesh From Today 

New Delhi: The sister of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is being hailed by many as the Congress' big hope in the make-or- break state of Uttar Pradesh ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, finally arrives in Lucknow this morning. Her entry into politics as the party's general secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh was announced by Rahul Gandhi, two weeks ago.

Jyotiraditya Scindia, the party's western Uttar Pradesh in-charge, and the Congress chief will also accompany Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on the occasion. She told supporters, "Tomorrow, I hope that we can all come together to bring about a new kind of politics. A kind of politics in which all of you will be stakeholders. A kind of politics in which the voice of my youth friends, my sisters and the poorest of the poor will be heard," through the party's Shakti App on Sunday.

Priyanka Gandhi's Lucknow visit is anticipated to be greatly publicized by the Congress Party. From Lucknow airport, all three leaders will proceed to the city's Congress office in a roadshow running well over 30 kilometres through some of the most congested areas of the city - garlanding statues of Mahatma Gandhi and BR Ambedkar along the way. In order to welcome her, Congress leaders and workers will gather at 14 different points on the route, and party workers from neighbouring districts have been called in to ensure good public presence. 

Priyanka Gandhi and the other leaders are expected to address a press conference and inaugurate a new media centre, after reaching the Congress office. 

Over the next three to four days, she is likely to frequent the party office and chair daily meetings on specific constituencies of the 40-odd Lok Sabha seats that fall under her purview. According to the Congress sources, once Priyanka Gandhi is done with Lucknow, she may embark on a tour of eastern Uttar Pradesh instead of returning to Delhi

The Congress party anticipates that Priyanka Gandhi's entry will boost its prospects in the Lok Sabha elections, with her charisma and voter connect being touted as the major draws, a reality check suggests that it could still be a daunting task. However, the last two Lok Sabha elections in eastern UP - the Gorakhpur and Phulpur bypolls of 2018 - turned out to be disastrous for the party.  Its candidates managed only about 19,000 votes each and a 2% vote share in each constituency, on both seats. 

Lok Sabha polls of 2014 were equally tragic for the Congress, bagging just two seats - Amethi and Raebareli - as compared to the 21 it had won five years earlier. Between 2009 and 2014, the party's vote share also dropped by almost 50%. So, the question is: Does Priyanka Gandhi have the time to revive the party's seemingly defunct grassroots organisation?

As per the sources, the party decided on Priyanka Gandhi's foray into eastern Uttar Pradesh after much thought, and the leadership believes that reviving it in eastern Uttar Pradesh would amount to achieving a symbolic victory. 

Prayagraj, formerly known as Allahabad was Lal Bahadur Shastri's Lok Sabha seat and home to the Nehru family. Neighbouring Phulpur was Jawaharlal Nehru's Lok Sabha seat.  The Priyanka Gandhi led- East Uttar Pradesh also has the strongholds of both Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.