Priyanka Gandhi not to campaign in UP Assembly polls

Hardnews Bureau

Lucknow: Even as both the Congress and the Samajwadi Party are negotiating for an amicable pre-poll alliance for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, the candidates, particularly from the Congress have got a heart break over a report that star campaigner Priyanka Gandhi Vadra would not campaign in the state.

The news about Priyanka skipping the campaigning has certainly dampen the dream of the Congress candidates and sitting legislators, who had forced the leadership to go in alliance instead of fighting alone, and were looking forward to sail smoothly to the Assembly after riding on popularity of the Gandhi family, particularly Priyanka and support of the SP vote bank.

Similarly, campaigning by Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the UP polls would not happen this time due to her poor health.

 ''Priyanka Gandhi had made it very clear to state leadership, including state president Raj Babbar, that she will be not going to address any meeting in Uttar Pradesh in the coming Assembly polls", confirmed a leader of the Party who attended meeting recently in New Delhi in which she was also present.

 "Priyanka even instructed the co-ordinators of her brother Rahul Gandhi's constituency in Amethi and mother Sonia Gandhi's constituency in Rae Bareli on December 22 last that this time, in these two Parliament constituencies also, she will hold just one meeting in each parliament constituency", the leader further revealed, adding that the leaders of two high profile constituencies have been directed to chalk out place from where the Party could make maximum gain by Priyanka’s meeting.

During last Assembly elections in 2012, Priyanka had addressed public meting in almost all blocks of Rae Bareli and Amethi but could manage to win only 2 of the 10 seats falling in the two VVIP constituencies.

Sources in the Party confirmed that after participating seriously in all the meetings held in New Delhi to draw strategy for the UP Assembly polls, she  decided to remain away in this election as she did not want to lose her `attraction' amongst the public so that she could use her charm and capabilities to draw solid ground for grand victory in the 2019 general elections polls and to pave way for her brother to become prime minister of the country.

It may be mentioned that right from AICC general secretary Gulam Nabi Azad (also incharge of Party affairs here in UP) to state president Raj Babbar, all the senior leaders confirmed that after Party's vice-president Rahul Gandhi's month-long 'Deoria Se Dilli Kisan Yatra' and "27 Saal-UP Behal" campaign, it was his sister, Priyanka, who is all set to hit the campaign trail ahead of next year's Assembly polls in the State.

Interestingly, senior leaders even went on to claim that priyanka will hold meetings across UP, and will begin with an event in Allahabad on November 19 to mark the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. However, no such public meeting was held during the birth anniversary celebration in Allahabad except her visit to the Sangam City.

(UNI )