Amid the raging internal war in ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi for the first time today participated in a strategy session of Congress leaders from the poll-bound state. Convened by AICC General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, the hour-long meeting saw Gandhi intensely interacting with the state leaders including PCC Chief Raj Babbar, Congress CM candidate Shiela Dikshit and campaign chief Sanjay Singh.
Party spokesman R P N Singh said that this was for the first time Gandhi participated in such a meeting of leaders from UP where the Assembly polls are scheduled early next year.
The interaction saw some state leaders suggesting tie-ups with smaller parties like RLD and Peace Party while some pitching for block level meetings to garner support instead of taking out yatras.
The impact of Rahul Sandesh Yatras, currently touring all districts in the state, was also discussed.
At the party briefing, Singh, however, steered clear of the questions whether Priyanka would be campaigning outside Amethi and Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituencies where she has been restricting her role so far in previous Assembly polls.
“It would be better if the decision is left to her” was the refrain of Singh to such questions. He spoke in similar vein when asked as to why Congress, which projects itself as a democratic party, leaves such a decision to the family.
There have been strong demands from partymen in the state that Priyanka play a larger role in the campaigning to help revive the organisation in the state. Congress is out of power in the state for 27 long years.
In the last Lok Sabha polls, the party had secured just two seats-Amethi and Rae Bareli in the backdrop of a Modi wave that saw BJP and its allies secure 73 of the total 80 seats. In the last Assembly polls, Congress had secured just 28 seats out of 403.