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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Priyanka Gandhi puts off Lucknow presser after Kashmir terror attack, says would be inappropriate

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra put off her press conference in Lucknow following terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir, where at least 30 CRPF jawans were killed.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Feb 14, 2019 19:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the newly appointed general secretary of the Congress, will address a press conference in Lucknow on Thursday.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the newly appointed general secretary of the Congress, will address a press conference in Lucknow on Thursday.(Subhankar Chakraborty/HT PHOTO)

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the newly appointed general secretary of the Congress, put off her much-awaited press conference in Lucknow on Thursday following a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district. At least 30 Central Reserve Police Force jawans were killed in the incident.

“I don’t think it is appropriate to talk politics right now,” said Priyanka Gandhi, who was accompanied by Jyotiraditya Scidnia, the Congress general secretary in-charge for Uttar Pradesh West.

Priyanka, who has been given charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, has been in Lucknow since Monday to prepare the party for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. On Monday, she launched the campaign with a massive roadshow for ‘Mission UP’, in her first ever visit to the state since her brother Rahul Gandhi named her as the party’s general secretary last month. She is expected to return to Delhi on February 15.

Priyanka’s entry into politics has brought fresh energy into the party workers especially after it was snubbed by both the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party and the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party in the state.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the party had won an abysmal 2 seats out of the 80 seats that the state sends to the Lower House.

Read| All about Mahan Dal, the party Congress firmed up an alliance with in UP

On Tuesday, a day after the roadshow in which she was accompanied by her brother and Congress president Rahul Gandhi and western UP incharge Jyotiraditya Scindia, both Priyanka and Scindia held closed door meetings with party workers in Lucknow.

Both leaders are said to have asked a series of questions from the party workers about their respective constituencies to gauge their preparation for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Some of the questions Priyanka asked included, “What is your booth number? How many villages do you have in your constituency?” etc.

Priyanka also asked the workers to forget their inter-personal differences and to work in a united fashion for the party for the Lok Sabha elections.

Also read| ‘Will fight with all our might,’ says Priyanka as Congress ties up with Mahan Dal

Priyanka, whose husband Robert Vadra is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case, was seen dropping him off at the ED office on the first day of his questioning and then later took a quick flight to Jaipur to be by his side. Vadra was being questioned in connection with an alleged land scam case in Bikaner.

Talking about the ED questioning Vadra, Priyanka said, “These things keep going on and I am concentrating on my work.”

Earlier, a day after Rahul Gandhi announced her appointment as general secretary and in charge of eastern UP on January 23, posters hailing Priyanka and Indira Gandhi had sprung up in the heartland state, with the caption “Indira is back”.

Priyanka Gandhi was ushered into the party fold on “a mission’ to transform the party’s fortunes ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Also read| From booth number to winning candidates, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tests Congress party workers’ knowledge

The decision to induct Priyanka into the party was taken days after the SP and BSP formed an alliance in the state but left out the Congress leaving only two seats - Rae Bareli and Amethi - for the Congress.