The Congress, which intends to start its campaign for 2017 elections in Uttar Pradesh with a major public rally commemorating the 99th birth anniversary of former prime Minister Indira Gandhi on November 19 in Allahabad, is in two minds over inviting Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for the event. Party sources informed that while poll strategist Prashant Kishor had been insisting for bringing Priyanka for the event, party leadership is still assessing its strength and weakness after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s one month long Kisan Yatra before taking a final decision.
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While party is considering holding public meetings of Priyanka, it is yet to decide whether it should start from November 19, projecting it as handing over the legacy of Indira to her or at a later stage, which is closer to the elections. As per the sources, while a section of senior leaders are insisting on inviting all three – Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka and Rahul — for the event, there are others who want either Rahul and Priyanka or Sonia and Priyanka to address the public meeting.
“It is true that a big event is scheduled to be held in Allahabad on birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi but details have not yet been shared with us,” said, Anugrah Narayan Singh, senior party leader and MLA from Allahabad North.
Meanwhile, having projected Sheila Dikshit as the CM candidate for UP, a section within the party now wants to highlight the “Kashmiri Pandit” background of former PM Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira in Allahabad, which happens to be birth place of both. During the recent Kisan Yatra, some leaders had event put up posters referring to party vice-president as “Pandit Rahul Gandhi”.
“While ‘Rahul Sandesh Yatras’ are going on across the state. We might see a campaign focusing on Dalits starting before November 19 across the state,” said a party leader.
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