Ahead of the 2017 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the JD(U) is keen on having Congress star campaigner Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as the face of the Grand Alliance mascot in the state. The move comes as the talks — on forming an anti-BJP front in UP— with the BSP chief Mayawati and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav have failed to yield any result.
The JD (U) strategists plan to organise joint rallies of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and Priyanka across Uttar Pradesh as part of the election campaign.
“Talks with Congress leaders on the role of Grand Alliance constituents are under way,” said a senior JD (U) leader. He added, “If the Congress does not wish to project Priyanka as the CM candidate, we want her role to be extended outside party bastions of Rae Bareli and Amethi.”
The leader believes that Priyanka has the charisma to woo voters, especially youths, and give a tough fight to the BJP, the SP and the BSP star campaigners. Though state Congress leaders and workers want Priyanka to be projected as the CM candidate, the party leadership is yet to accept the demand.
KC Tyagi, JD(U) national general secretary, said, “The Congress will have a lead role in UP to revive the fortune of the Grand Alliance. We are not targeting the SP or the BSP, but we have the BJP on our radar. After the NDA’s victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the anti-Congress plank has become irrelevant,” he said.
Tyagi said the Bihar assembly election results have a message. If anti-saffron parties come together, the BJP can be defeated with ease. In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the BJP won 106 seats in UP and Bihar. If we do not free those seats from the clutches of the BJP, we will not be able to stop Narendra Modi in the 2019 election, he added.
“If the SP and the BSP become a part of grand alliance in UP, the BJP will be decimated in the assembly election,” he said.