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Priyanka Gandhi to be Congress' 'face', set to campaign across UP for upcoming polls

Raza Naqvi | Updated on: 29 June 2016, 16:47 IST

After forming "too many strategies" for the upcoming 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, it seems poll strategist Prashant Kishor and the Congress party high command have mutually decided to pin their hopes on Priyanka Gandhi to ace the elections.

According to Catch sources, Priyanka Gandhi will now be the party's face for the Assembly polls and this time she will be campaigning beyond the regular party safe bastions - Amethi and Rae Bareilly.

It seems, Kishor, who had been vocal about bringing Priyanka to the main league has "finally" succeeded in convincing senior party leaders that she could deliver, and deliver well, for the party if projected as the party's face for the UP polls.

While Congress leaders are seeing this move as a positive one, Opposition leaders are questioning the "reliability" of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Opposition leaders feel that as Rahul's name is synonymous with defeat, the party is now pinning its hopes on Priyanka.

Also read: Here's why reviving the Congress in UP is an uphill task for Prashant Kishor

'We will be all over the state, let mid-July come'

Speaking to Catch, Ashok Dhanvik, organising secretary of Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) said party workers are totally mobilised and before 15 July, Congress will be all over the state.

"We have been working on the ground level from a long time and I am confident that the people of UP will only talk about Congress post mid-July," he said.

Speaking about Priyanka being made the party's face, he said she will spearhead the Congress campaign and will definitely be the party's campaign face.

"After a round of talks, Priyanka has also agreed with the senior leaders. Soon she will start campaigning for the party all over the state," he confirmed.

Also read: Congress strategist Prashant Kishor faces heat after secret 'Brahmin meeting' in Uttar Pradesh

Waiting for Rahul

According to Catch sources, a formal announcement on her role and campaign will be made after Rahul, who is currently outside the country on a short trip, returns to India,.

Priyanka's office will reportedly be in Anand Bhavan in Allahabad, the ancestral home of the Nehru-Gandhi family.

Also read: Will Asaduddin Owaisi lead an alliance of Muslim parties in Uttar Pradesh elections?

'Without Samajwadi Party, even Priyanka cannot do anything'

Speaking to Catch, Vijay Bahadur Pathak, BJP spokesperson said that without the Samajwadi Party's support, even Priyanka Gandhi can't do anything for reviving the floundering fortunes of the Congress party.

"In 2014, with the support of Samajwadi Party, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul were able to save their Lok Sabha seats, but this time this is the Assembly election, the SP won't lend support to the Congress. In such a scenario it is very difficult for Priyanka to revive a party which is on the verge of getting 'extinct'."

Taking a dig at Rahul, Pathak said that it seems the party leaders and Gandhi family know that it is "impossible" for Rahul to make the party fare well in the UP elections, probably a reason for Priyanka's entry into active politics.

Also read: 2017 UP elections: Here's why Muslim voters may desert the Samajwadi Party

First published: 29 June 2016, 16:47 IST
Raza Naqvi @Mir_Naqvi

Raza is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) and has worked with the Hindustan Times in the past. A passionate follower of crime stories, he is currently working as a Sub-Editor at the Speed News desk.