UP polls: Priyanka Gandhi holds strategy meet with Cong leaders; vows to hit streets against Yogi govt



NEW DELHI: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will be on a visit to Lucknow from July 14 to hold meetings with party functionaries which will be followed up by tours of other districts of the state aimed at energising the party cadre and preparing the organisation for a pitched electoral battle against the BJP, sources said Monday.

Ahead of her visit to Lucknow, Priyanka Gandhi on Monday brainstormed with senior Congress leaders from Uttar Pradesh on the preparations for the next year’s assembly polls.

During the meeting, the party resolved to hit the streets against the BJP government over issues such as unemployment, price rise and law and order.

With the Congress seeking to intensify organisational activities in the run up to the polls, Priyanka Gandhi held the virtual meeting with the party’s advisory council to the general secretary and the working group on strategy and planning for the state.

They discussed the rising prices, the coronavirus situation, the recently held panchayat elections in the state and organisational training camps, sources said.

During her Lucknow visit, Priyanka Gandhi will hold meetings with all Pradesh Congress Committee members and district and city presidents from various parts of the states, the sources said.

They said that Priyanka Gandhi will also meet kisan union representatives and take stock of the work done by the party’s manifesto committee.

A discussion on probable candidates on winnable seats is likely to take place, a party source said.

Her Lucknow trip will be followed up by visits to other districts of the state on dates yet to be announced by the party.

During her Lucknow visit, she will also hold meetings with groups of unemployed youths who are battling various recruitment issues, the sources said.

UP Congress spokesperson Ashok Singh told PTI in Lucknow, “Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will be reaching Lucknow on July 14 and will stay here till July 16.”

In her meeting with senior leaders Monday, Priyanka Gandhi noted that people are troubled by soaring inflation with prices of petrol, diesel, mustard oil, fruits and vegetables “sky high”.

The Congress general secretary in-charge Uttar Pradesh also pointed out that though the input cost of farmers had doubled, their income had come down.

Priyanka Gandhi also flagged the violence during the panchayat polls and alleged that BJP workers indulged in stone-pelting and firing.

The Congress leaders who participated in the meeting denounced the Yogi Adityanath dispensation, alleging it had failed on all counts.

It was resolved at the meeting that the Congress will take the fight against the BJP government to the streets over issues such as rising prices, unemployment and the “jungle raj” prevailing in the state, the party sources said.

Congress’ state unit chief Ajay Kumar Lallu, senior party leaders Salman Khurshid, Rajiv Shukla, Pramod Tiwari and Rashid Alvi, among others, participated in the meeting.

The meeting comes a day after Priyanka Gandhi met Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, who the sources said is likely to play a key role in preparing the Congress organisation in Uttar Pradesh for the assembly polls with a focus on strategising and booth management.

Last week, Lallu had expressed confidence that his party has the capacity to fight the elections without aligning with either the SP or the BSP and form the next government on its own.

His remarks had come days after the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party ruled out forging any major alliances for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.

In an interview with PTI, Lallu had also said the Congress would fight the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh next year under Priyanka Gandhi’s “dekh-rekh (supervision)”, and that under her leadership, the party would make a comeback in the state after over three decades.

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