- Congress is out of power in Uttar Pradesh since 1989
- ND Tiwari was the last Congress leader to serve as the Chief Minister
- Congress is hopeful for a change in its fortune with Priyanka spearheading the campaign
"Can you see any face other than me?" (Aapko mere siwaye koi chehra dikhta hai kya?) Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said on Friday (January 22, 2022) while responding to India TV's question about who will be the party's chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh. "My face is visible everywhere," the Congress general secretary added when she was categorically asked if she is the face (of Congress in UP). It's for the first time that Priyanka Gandhi has indicated that she could be the face of the party the state.
Polling for the 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly is scheduled to be held in seven phases from February 10 to March 7 and counting of votes will be held on March 10.
The Congress, which has been reduced to a virtual non-player in Uttar Pradesh over the past years, is going to the polls with youth and women in focus. It has already reserved 40 per cent of tickets for women in the state. Priyanka has been spearheading the Congress' campaign in the state where the party has been out of power since 1989.
Uttar Pradesh had a Congress Chief Minister till 1967, then again from 1969 to 1970. The state saw another CM from Congress gracing the position until 1975, barring a brief period of the President’s rule.
Congress leader ND Tiwari was the last Congress leader to serve as the CM of Uttar Pradesh. He held the position thrice -- 1976 to 1977; 1984 to 1985 and 1988 to 1989. Since then, there hasn’t been a single Congress CM who has ruled the country's most populated state.
Earlier today, Priyanka and her brother Rahul Gandhi released the Congress' manifesto for the youth of Uttar Pradesh, saying only the party can give a new vision to the youth in the state. Priyanka said that the biggest problem in the state is recruitment and the youth are disappointed. She said her party in UP wants the focus to be on development and not on negative propaganda based on caste or communalism that is going around.
Several opinion polls have predicted a rout for the grand old party in the Assembly polls. According to an opinion poll by Ground Zero Research for India TV, the Congress party will win 2 to 5 seats in the polls.
In the previous election held in 2017, the BJP had registered a stunning win, bagging 312 of 403 Legislative Assembly seats. The ruling Samajwadi Party had secured 47 seats and the Congress won just seven.