Congress General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh (UP)-East Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and General Secretary for UP-West Jyotiraditya Scindia will visit Lucknow on Monday. February 11, along with Congress President Rahul Gandhi. The tour is expected to last for four days. This will be Priyanka's first visit after being appointed as the general secretary. According to reports, the leaders are expected to carry out a 12-kilometre long road show. Senior Congress leader KC Venugopal said after the road show the leaders are expected to interact with the party workers at the Congress office in the Uttar Pradesh capital. According to officials, the party office in the state has been revamped and preparations are on in full swing to welcome the newly-appointed general secretaries.
In an audio message, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said: "I am coming to Lucknow tomorrow, I wish that together we'll begin a new politics and you be a part of it. Youth, women and marginalised, everyone's voices will be heard. Let's establish a new future and politics."
Priyanka Gandhi, 47, and Scindia, 48, took charge as AICC general secretary UP East and UP West respectively last week. Her formal entry into politics and being given the charge of Uttar Pradesh assumes significance as the state, where 80 out of 543 Lok Sabha seats are at stake, plays a crucial role in the formation of the central government.
In boosting the party's prospects, Priyanka's challenge will involve taking on two formidable political formations - BJP-led NDA and SP-BSP alliance.
About 42 Lok Sabha seats fall in the region whose charge will be under her. The major constituencies that fall in the region under her charge include Varanasi, Amethi, Rae Bareli, Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Azamgarh, Deoria, Basti, Allahabad and Chandauli.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress could win only two seats in the state -- Amethi and Rae Bareli seats -- while the BJP won 71 seats, its ally Apna Dal got 2 and Samajwadi Party bagged 5 seats. Not just the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress challenge fell flat even in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections for which Rahul Gandhi had formed an alliance with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav.
The BJP heavily dominated the results with as many as 312 out of 403 Assembly seats, while the Congress and SP alliance won a total of 54 seats.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress had 22 seats, most of them from the eastern region.
(With agency inputs)