All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and newly-appointed in charge of Uttar Pradesh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, on Thursday hinted at elevation of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi to the top post at an ‘appropriate time’ and a bigger role for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, saying he hoped she would campaign beyond Amethi and Rae Bareli in the 2017 assembly elections in UP.
“Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will become party president at one point. So far the campaigning is concerned, Sonia Gandhi (even if she ceases to be party president) and Rahul Gandhi as party president or vice-president will campaign for the party.”
He added, “Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been working for the party in Amethi, Rae Bareli and has also campaigned in adjoining districts like Pratapgarh. We hope she will certainly take out time to campaign beyond these constituencies.”
Azad, who was here on the first day of his visit to Lucknow after being appointed the party’s state in charge to achieve Mission UP, raised the hopes of his party men.
He declared that the victory in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka had come as a ray of hope when the party was reduced to nearly a zero in 1977. “This time, the Congress’ revival will begin from the 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh,” said Azad.
Asked about projecting a Brahmin as a chief ministerial candidate, Azad said the Congress did not believe in caste-based leadership.
Azad also attacked the BJP, saying the party had tried to unnecessarily play up the Kairana and Bisara incidents at its national executive meet that concluded in Allahabad on Monday.
He called upon his party men to tighten their seat belts to work for the 2017 assembly elections. He also gave a subtle warning to the leaders who camped in New Delhi, saying only those who worked at the grassroots level would be given priority.