Priyanka arrives in Lucknow today; has tough task of Congress revival in UP
As Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra arrives here on her long-pending visit today, she may have little time to perform the gigantic task of giving her party a major push to make it a strong contender for power in the 2022 assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
Though Priyanka is credited with bringing her party into focus as and when she undertakes tours to various regions, the state Congress has not been able to take any advantage of the impetus her visits give to the party.
This will be after a gap of about one and a half years that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) headquarters here. So her visit has raised the hopes of partymen. “We are hopeful that her visit will help in gearing up the party organisation for the 2022 UP assembly elections,” said a senior party leader.
“Priyanka is the only leader who toured different districts to meet anti-CAA protestors. She also took up the cause of rape victims in Unnao and Mainpuri. She went to meet the boatmen beaten up by the police in Prayagraj. She also went to meet families of victims of Sonbhadra’s Umbha massacre. Her actions brought the state Congress into focus,” said the leader.
The political observers feel that her brief visits will in no way strengthen or gear up the party organization. “Priyanka should give more time to Uttar Pradesh now. The Congress is weak in Uttar Pradesh and brief visits will not help. Infighting in her party is one of the reasons for the prevailing situation. She needs to focus on strengthening the party organisation. She has the qualities and she can do it,” said SK Dwivedi, former head of the department, political science, Lucknow University.
“There is nothing unusual in Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s visit to Lucknow. Leaders of all political parties tour the state before elections. Her visits to the state in the past to take up different issue brought her party into media focus. The Congress, however, was not able to take advantage of this due to poor party infrastructure,” said professor Badri Narayan, drector, GB Pant Social Science Institute, Prayagraj.
Meanwhile, the UPCC is gearing up to accord a grand welcome to Priyanka as she arrives here. A number of welcome and flower showering points have been put up on the route from the Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport, Lucknow to Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) headquarters here. She will land at the airport at about 1PM and proceed straight to the GPO Park here. She will garland the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the GPO Park and will then reach the UPCC headquarters to meet the partymen and representatives of farmers there.
On the second day of her visit,, Priyanka proposes to meet block level presidents of her party from Rae Bareli and Amethi. She will also meet students appearing in different competitive exams and holding protests for delay in recruitments. She will meet former MPs, former legislators and office-bearers of her party’s frontal organisations, different cells and departments.
Will she also meet disgruntled leaders who have been sidelined or expelled from the party? “We have no information about any meeting with the party’s old timers. Priyanka is surrounded by a coterie of advisers and this is only causing damage instead of helping the Congress,” said former minister Satyadev Tripathi who along with other old timers was expelled from the Congress on the charges of indiscipline in 2019.