Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who is currently serving as general secretary of the AICC and is in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh on Monday held a roadshow in Lucknow. The newly appointed Congress general secretary will have e her hands full during her four-day visit to Lucknow as she will meet senior leaders and office bearers of the party. This will be her maiden visit to Uttar Pradesh after she formally entered politics last month.
Hectic preparations were underway at the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) office in the posh Mall Avenue area for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's first visit to the city. Congress leaders say this time the buzz will not be limited to "just cosmetics" but will be followed up by serious business ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2019.
And so other than the fresh paint, the beefed up security, makeover of the party's hitherto deserted office, the posters, banners and hoardings, a close-knit team was doing the spadework for Priyanka after she was assigned with the uphill task of winning back the party's traditional voters and pepping up the morale of the cadres head of the crucial, do-or-die electoral battle for Parliament.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's Lucknow visit highlights:
5:56 pm: Congress chief reiterates his focus on the making a government in Uttar Pradesh at the state-level ahead on attention on Lok Sabha polls.
#Visuals: Congress General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh East Priyanka Gandhi Vadra interacts with a child during the roadshow in Lucknow. The girl says, "I gave her a garland & she gave me a chocolate. Later, she returned the garland to me & said, 'Stay happy'. pic.twitter.com/0h9PPYCiCm— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 11, 2019
05:55 pm: It is a war of ideologies. Congress's ideology of peace and communal harmony is up against Narendra Modi's devisive ideology: Rahul Gandhi at party office
05:50 pm: The 17-kilometre roadshow by Priyanka Gandhi ends. Priyanka, Rahul and other party members reach Congress office in Lucknow.
Lucknow: Congress General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh East Priyanka Gandhi Vadra & Congress President Rahul Gandhi pay floral tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel pic.twitter.com/limlEr4kMF— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 11, 2019
03:55 pm: Nation's 'chowkidaar' stole money from Uttar Pradesh, other states, & Air Force. 'Chowkidaar chor hai'. UP is the heart of the country: Rahul Gandhi
03:55 pm: Their aim (Priyanka and Scindia) is to bring a just government in the state. Their main focus is Congress govt in the UP. We will play at front foot in the state. We will bring a goverment for poor, youth and farmers: Rahul Gandhi addresses Congress supporters roadshow. He ended his brief speech with 'chowkdar chor hai'
03:30 pm: As Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's cavalcade rolled through the streets of Lucknow, the capital of politically crucial Uttar Pradesh, Congress workers showered rose petals and threw marigold garlands at her, celebrating the much-awaited political debut. riyanka Gandhi, accompanied by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and in-charge of the state's western region Jyotiraditya Scindia, waved and smiled.
Congress General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh East Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh West Jyotiraditya Scindia and party President Rahul Gandhi, continue their roadshow in Lucknow. pic.twitter.com/9T6xKTjapB— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 11, 2019
01:00 pm: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra begins her road show
12:45 pm: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra reaches Lucknow Airport
12:30 pm: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra joins Twitter, thousands follow in minutes (READ)
11:30 am: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra reaches Delhi Airport
10:33 am: They're calling this road show but BJP sees this as 'Chor machaye shor'. Gandhi-Vardra family is out on bail. They can't hold road show but a 'Chor show'. People of UP, especially Lucknow, will come to see corrupt faces of those who looted Rs 12 Lakh Cr of this nation: UP Min SN Singh
10:20 am: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra reaches Rahul Gandhi's residence
9:05 am: I'm coming to Lucknow today along with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Jyotiraditya Scindia ...I'm quite excited to meet you all: Rahul Gandhi
8:36 am: Lucknow: Latest visuals from Congress office. General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh East Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, General secretary for Uttar Pradesh West Jyotiraditya Scindia and party President Rahul Gandhi are visiting the city today
Congress workers wear t-shirts with Congress General Secretary for Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's face to welcome her ahead of her road show with Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Lucknow today. (Earlier visuals) pic.twitter.com/29Q1xbKK8J— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 11, 2019
Preparations underway at Congress office in Lucknow ahead of General Secretary for Eastern UP Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and General Secretary for UP West Jyotiraditya Scindia's visit tomorrow. They will be accompanied by Congress President Rahul Gandhi. pic.twitter.com/SeFCgwkp88— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 10, 2019
She was accompanied by her brother and Congress president Rahul Gandhi and General Secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia, who has been assigned the task of handling western UP for the party in the elections.
In-charge of 42 of the 80 Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi will meet senior leaders and office bearers of the party constituency-wise during her visit till February 14.
UPCC chief Raj Babbar held several meetings planning for the high-profile visit. The visit began with a road show from the Charbagh railway station to the party office, weaving its way through important places in the city like Hussainganj, GPO, Raj Bhawan round about and Hazratganj.
Other than the cosmetics, informed sources say, a close-knit team of state leaders has already been tasked with many assignments, which include detailing of the past Lok Sabha performances of the party, collate data of "winnable seats" and also work on a detailed plan to bring back the "old guard" that has stuck with the party through thick and thin.
"The idea is to strike a chord with the party loyalists, be it workers or office bearers or leaders. The mantra is to work and win" a leader said. Raj Babbar said that the excitement was high among party workers and the workers and her visit will certainly boost the party morale ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
"We certainly are privileged that Priyanka-ji has been assigned to boost party prospects in Uttar Pradesh and we are going to give in our best in this endeavour" the actor-turned-politician said further.
Sources said that the basic data of probable candidates based on parameters of winnability, caste matrix and loyalty for the party is ready and would come up for discussion with Priyanka during her four-day stay in the state.
Let's begin a new politics: Priyanka Gandhi
A day ahead of her mega road show in Uttar Pradesh, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Sunday called on party workers to initiate a "new kind of politics" which listens to the voices of the poor and the marginalised.
"I have hope in my heart that together we will start a new kind of politics, a politics in which all of you will be stakeholders -- my young friends, my sisters and even the weakest person, all their voices will be heard.
"Come, let's build a new future, new politics with me," she said in an audio message.
(With inputs from agencies)