After almost 16 hours of meetings with party workers that concluded around 5.30am on Wednesday, Congress general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra broke her silence on Enforcement Directorate probe on her husband saying while things would keep on happening, she would continue with her work.
She said that in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the main contest is between Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and announced a tie-up with an outfit in Western Uttar Pradesh, Mahan Dal, which has influence on “non-Yadav” OBC votes.
“Yeh cheezein chalti rahengi…Main apna kaam kar rahi hun (These things will go on, I will do my work),” Priyanka told reporters, when asked about ED probing her husband Robert Vadra, while leaving the party office in the morning after holding constituency-wise meetings with 12 groups. When asked about the possibility of her “direct contest” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Priyanka said it will be decided by Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Soon after the Mahan Dal led by Keshav Dev Maurya announced support to Congress in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha elections as well as the assembly elections in 2022, Priyanka said she would put all her heart in the Lok Sabha elections indicating that Rahul has given her the task to start a politics that takes everyone along.
Priyanka sends out a message that she means business
The meetings held by Congress general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, with party workers on Tuesdsay that continued till Wednesday morning seems to be a move to convey a message that she “means business”. It would have come as a surprise for partymen who hardly found the presence of senior party leaders at the state headquarters even during day time for years. Most of the leaders say that they have got the hint of the style of working and are worried if they would have to wait for long hours in a similar manner whenever election meetings are called by Priyanka.
“Main Maurya ji ka swagat karna chahti hun, Rahul ji ne humein lakshya diya hai ki ek aisi rajniti ka hum nirman karen jismein sab bhagidar hon, sab varga aur samudayon ka pratinidhtva ho..usi ke prati prayas hai (I welcome Maurya ji. Rahul has given us a target to start such kind of politics, in which everyone has a share, every section and community has representation and this a step in that direction),” said Priyanka and added, “We are going to fight 2019 Lok Sabha election with all our heart.”
In 2014, the Congress entered an alliance with Mahan Dal and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). While eight seats were given to RLD led by Ajit Singh, three seats were given to Mahan Dal including Etah, Nagina, Badaun in Western Uttar Pradesh. The party ended up getting about 23,000 votes on these seats.
Mahan Dal claims to have influence on a section of “non-Yadav” OBC votes in Western Uttar Pradesh like Kushwahas, Shakyas and Mauryas. Maurya said, “In 2019, Mahan Dal will be with the Congress and in 2022, Mahan Dal will put all effort to form Congress government in the state.”
When asked about her meetings with workers from various Lok Sabha constituencies, Priyanka said, “I am learning a lot about the organisation… How it is structured and the changes that need to be done… I am getting their views on how to fight elections…”
“I’m getting to learn a lot from them… about the organisation, their regions, as well as district and block committees there,” said Priyanka.
AICC general secretary in charge of western Uttar Pradesh, Jyotiraditya Scindia, also held meetings till early morning with grassroot level workers from the Lok Sabha constituencies that fall under him, asking them about the local equations as well as the strength and weaknesses of the organisation.
“Day or night holds no meaning for us, all that matters is issues of people of UP…. We have had good meetings and it is clear that UP is ready for change and new vision,” said Scindia.
Both the leaders again started meetings around 12.30pm with booth workers and senior leaders. Priyanka also met people who came to seek support on various issues, including pension.
Party workers said they were given a form that asked for details, including their WhatsApp number, e-mail and social media accounts.