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Priyanka Gandhi will actively campaign for the Congress and play a “major role” in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls slated early next year, top party leaders said today. At a meeting chaired by Rahul Gandhi and attended by her besides top leaders at the party vice president’s Tughlaq Road residence, Priyanka’s role and her campaign schedule was discussed. The leaders also exchanged their views on the strategy for Uttar Pradesh assembly polls and the fallout of the demonetisation exercise.
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Sources said that besides Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka, AICC general secretary incharge of the party in UP Ghulam Nabi Azad, its chief ministerial candidate Sheila Dikshit and state Congress chief Raj Babbar were present. Some senior Congress leaders from the poll-bound state and its campaign strategist Prashant Kishor also reportedly attended the meeting.
The meeting was also learnt to have discussed certain differences between the state leaders and issues some of them have with Kishor. Sources said the meeting deliberated on the probable candidates as the party leaders present were also part of the screening committee. “She (Priyanka) is going to play a major role. Let everything be finalised,” UP Congress campaign committee chairman Sanjay Singh said after the meeting.
Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Raj Babbar said, “It has been decided that she will campaign for the party in the state elections. She has accepted our request to campaign. Whenever we will get her schedule, we will use her time accordingly”. Babbar, however, said that once the election schedule was announced, there would be more clarity on her campaign plans for the state.
Earlier, Babbar had said Priyanka’s presence will give confidence and energy not only to the partymen but also the people across the state. He said if she gave enough time then she could campaign in all the 403 constituencies. In the past, Priyanka has not campaigned in elections outside Amethi and Raebareli Lok Sabha constituencies, represented by her brother Rahul Gandhi and mother Sonia Gandhi respectively. A large section of Congress leaders believes that the party will gain immensely if she campaigns across the state.