Ahead of the crucial UP Assembly polls, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is in Rae Bareli to put the house in order in her mother and interim party chief Sonia Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency, Rae Bareli, where after the general elections, the party faced several rebellions in the traditional Nehru-Gandhi bastion.
Two Congress legislators, Aditi Singh from the Rae Bareli city and Rakesh Singh from Harchandpur, have revolted against the party, and their loyalties now lie with the BJP.
The Congress had lost the home turf of Amethi to Union Minister Smriti Irani in 2019, and there is no party MLA from the twin Lok Sabha seats after Aditi Singh’s revolt.
To bolster the party in the key constituency, Priyanka Gandhi on Sunday met Congress office bearers and discussed poll preparations. She held meetings of the district Congress committees, block presidents, Nyaya Panchayat presidents, and city Congress on Sunday.
The Congress is in search of good candidates from both Amethi and Rae Bareli to bring back the old glory of the party. It has been on decline in the area since the BJP came to power and is not able to win in the Assembly polls.
A party leader requesting anonymity said: “Congress needs to win majority of the seats in Amethi, and Rae Bareli to keep the perceptions high for general elections.”
The Rae Bareli and Amethi constituencies were looked after by close aide K.L. Sharma and he was involved in day to day affairs. However, Rahul Gandhi sent Chandrakant to look after Amethi in the last Lok Sabha polls, but he could not manage the constituency and Rahul Gandhi lost the elections. However, Sharma was able to ensure the party won Rae Bareli.
Rahul Gandhi, meanwhile, visited the constituency only twice and Sonia Gandhi is not keeping well, so Priyanka Gandhi is looking after the home turf, but no significant gain has been seen and Assembly polls would be a challenge to the Gandhi family.
Now to revive the party, the Congress in Uttar Pradesh has decided to take out ‘Pratigya Yatra’ with the tagline — ‘Hum Vachan Nibhayenge’, ahead of the Assembly elections, due early next year.
Priyanka Gandhi, who is in Lucknow on a two-day visit, had said that the yatra would cover a distance of 12,000 kilometres and will pass through all major villages and towns.
Addressing a meeting of the advisory and political affairs committee of the UPCC, she said that the yatra would mobilise party workers across the state and also establish a contact with the people.