In her first week as the AICC general secretary of Uttar Pradesh, East, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra kickstarted her four-day UP tour Monday with a 25-kilometre roadshow in capital Lucknow, sat down with senior party leaders to chalk out a plan for the 2019 general elections, and took breaks from business to ensure she was by the side of her husband, Robert Vadra, in Jaipur when he was grilled by the ED in a money-laundering probe. Priyanka has surely broken into headlines — without speaking much.
Congress marathon strategy session
Priyanka Gandhi has been given charge of 41 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh East region. On Tuesday, after making her entry in the UP battleground in in Lucknow by way of a roadshow minus any speech, she held a marathon strategy session with senior leaders and office-bearers of Lucknow, Unnao, Mohanlalganj, Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh, Prayagraj, Ambedkar Nagar, Sitapur, Kaushambi, Fatehpur, Bahraich, Phulpur and Ayodhya Lok Sabha constituencies to galvanise. The aim was to galvanise party workers for the Lok Sabha elections.
After the 16-hour meeting that lasted till 5.30 am Wednesday, Priyanka told reporters, “I’m learning a lot about the organisation, its structure and the changes that need to be made. I’m getting their (Congress workers) views on how to fight elections, according to them.”
Her maiden roadshow in Lucknow as the Congress’ UP East in-charge was riddled with anticipation. Awaiting her, hordes of party supporters were dressed head-to-toe in pink and put up hoardings comparing her to Indira Gandhi. Priyanka is banking on the Nehru-Gandhi nostalgia in east UP which has been a Congress stronghold.
But on her 25-kilometre roadshow Monday with Congress’ West UP in-charge Jyotiraditya Scindia, Priyanka, atop the party bus, resorted to waving at her supporters, while party president Rahul Gandhi did all the talking.
Ahead of her campaign trail Monday, Priyanka debuted on Twitter. Her social media account immediately had a blue tick (for verification) and, three days later, has over 1.80 lakh followers (1,85,300) despite not posting a single tweet. BSP president Mayawati, another formidable woman leader, on the other hand, currently has 82,000 followers.
Robert Vadra’s ED probe
Priyanka Gandhi, who was accompanying husband Robert Vadra when he had arrived for ED questioning in a money laundering case in New Delhi for the first time, had said: “He is my husband, he is my family… I support my family.”
“Yeh cheezein chalti rahegi…Main apna kaam kar rahi hun,”(These things (ED probe on Vadra) would continue, I would continue to do my work),” she told reporters yesterday.
When asked about the possibility of her “direct contest” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she said it is being done by Congress president Rahul Gandhi