July 19, 2021 3:01:01 am
Congress was “open-minded” about forging an alliance with other political parties for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, but not at the cost of its cadre base – this was party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s message to her party workers on Sunday, said sources. However, she indicated that it was too early to come to any conclusion, they added.
The Congress leader was on a three-day visit to Lucknow that ended on Sunday. During her visit, Priyanka held several meetings with party workers. She also participated in a “silent protest” here on Friday, and the following day she visited Lakhimpur Kheri district where women candidates and their proposers were allegedly molested during the recent panchayat polls.
Sources in the Congress said the party had learnt its lessons from the previous Assembly elections when leaders widely felt that a tie-up with the Samajwadi Party had dented its cadre base. The sources said the Congress was not keen on forging alliances with bigger parties this time, and would rather focus on strengthening its base and prioritising its interests.
A Congress leader said, “We have received indications that strengthening the cadre base is of utmost priority. There is a realisation that too little time is left but work is on and the party is also reaching out.”
Contrary to many party workers’ expectations, Priyanka’s visit to Lucknow has given indications that she will not camp permanently in Uttar Pradesh for the upcoming polls. The task of building and taking forward the cadre may largely fall on the state team.
Later in the day, Priyanka tweeted that Congress had presented a new model of change before the public in Uttar Pradesh. The model is based on organisation and struggle, she added. The Congress leader said the party’s office-bearers had pledged to strengthen this model of change, struggle and organisation.
Priyanka indicated that the party would take along the experience of the old hands and the energy of the youth during this struggle. She wrote, “Varishtha netaon ka anubhav, yuvaon ka josh, vah janta ke muddon par sangharsh humari takata hai [The experience of seniors, the energy of the youth, and the struggle for the issues of the public are our strengths].”
Following her visit, state Cabinet Minister Sidharth Nath Singh said Priyanka was not in Uttar Pradesh for public service but as part of her family’s traditional summer vacation tour.
“Priyanka comes to UP only for tourism and she has no concern with the people of the state and their problems. After Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka is now going to the United States as revealed by her while speaking to the media on Sunday.
This clearly shows that even UP is a tourist destination for Priyanka,” Singh said.
He added, “Since the beginning itself, Congress leaders pay attention to tours, whether it is Priyanka Gandhi Vadra or her brother Rahul Gandhi. How will the people of UP trust the leaders who show their faces only for tours. Vadra wasn’t seen anywhere while the state was witnessing the deadly Covid-19. That’s the reason the people of Uttar Pradesh have lost their faith in the Congress.”
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