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We will not play on backfoot: Rahul Gandhi on giving UP East charge to Priyanka Vadra

Speaking on the alliance between the BSP and SP, Rahul Gandhi said they share the Congress aim to defeat the BJP.

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Welcoming his sister Priyanka Gandhi’s entry into active politics, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said he was happy that his sister will now work alongside him. Rahul Gandhi, who was in Amethi, said: “My sister is very capable. I am personally very happy that she will now work alongside me.”

The Congress chief also said he has “full faith” in Priyanka and party MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, whom he described as a “dynamic leader”. “I have full faith that they (Priyanka and Scindia) will work together and what Uttar Pradesh and its youth needs, the Congress will fulfil them,” he told reporters.

“We will not play on the backfoot anywhere. Be it Uttar Pradesh or Gujarat. Our aim is to defeat BJP. This move will create a positive environment in UP politics,” he added.

Priyanka was appointed as general secretary of Uttar Pradesh East. She will take charge in the second week of February. Scindia, meanwhile, has been made in-charge of Uttar Pradesh West with immediate effect.

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Speaking on the alliance between the BSP and SP, Gandhi said they share the Congress aim to defeat the BJP. “We have no enmity with Mayawati ji and Akhilesh ji, in fact I respect them a lot. We are ready to cooperate with them wherever possible. Ultimately the aim of all three of us is to defeat BJP, but yes our fight is to save Congress ideology,” he said.

Rahul, however, said that he was ready to “cooperate” with these parties to defeat the BJP.

On the Congress campaign in Uttar Pradesh, he said the party will give a new direction to the state and make sure it becomes the “number one Pradesh”. The Congress president arrived in Amethi on a two-day tour of his parliamentary constituency.


Attacking the BJP, Rahul Gandhi said the party is a “little afraid”.

Reacting to Priyanka’s appointment, the BJP said the Congress is promoting dynasty politics.  BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “They consider family as the party while BJP considers party as the family.” He added that Priyanka’s decision to foray into politics is a sign of “Rahul Gandhi’s failure” as a leader. “After Rahul’s failure in getting everybody on board in the Opposition’s alliance, the Congress party needed a crutch.”

First published on: 23-01-2019 at 14:24 IST
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