Days after taking charge as Congress general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh east, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has found an alliance partner for the grand old party in the state. Priyanka and Jyotiraditya Scindia – who has been given the responsibility of Uttar Pradesh west – on Wednesday announced that the Congress will fight Lok Sabha Elections 2019 in alliance with Mahan Dal.
"I welcome Keshav Maurya ji. We will fight the elections jointly. Rahul ji has given us the task of creating a political atmosphere in which everyone is taken along and all sections of the society are represented," Priyanka Gandhi said.
The announcement of the alliance was made in the presence of UPCC chief Raj Babbar and other party leaders.
Keshav Dev Maurya is the chief of Mahan Dal, which had allied with the Congress in the 2009 and 2014 General Elections. The party had fielded three candidates in 2014 Lok Sabha constituencies – Badaun, Nagina and Etah, though they lost all. Mahan Dal is a regional outfit based in western Uttar Pradesh and claims support from the OBC voters – Maurya, Shakya, Saini communities.
Founder president of the Maha Dal, Keshav Dev Maurya, said the coming together of the two parties will be a winner combination and that many backward castes would support the alliance. The two sides would soon finalize seat arrangements, sources said.
Meanwhile, Priyanka is holding back-to-back meetings with party workers in Lucknow. When asked by reporters about a `muqabla' (contest) with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the newly appointed AICC office-bearer said, "Kar to rahe hein Rahulji, Modiji se muqabla (Rahul Gandhi is already taking on Modi)."
On her marathon meeting with party workers, Priyanka Gandhi said she is happy to see the enthusiasm among them. "I am learning a lot about the organisation and how it is structured. I am getting views on how to fight the elections," she said.