Priyanka Gandhi presser updates: Congress leader to address media for first time since being appointed general secretary

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Priyanka Gandhi presser updates: Congress leader to address media for first time since being appointed general secretary
  • 19:21 (IST)

    Priyanka Gandhi observes two-minute silence along with other party members

    The party members observed two-minute silence for the people who lost their lives in the Pulwama terror attack.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is likely to address a press conference at around 7 pm in Lucknow on Thursday.

This will be Priyanka's first press conference after being appointed as the party's in-charge of Uttar Pradesh (East).

On Tuesday, Priyanka had held a marathon strategy session to script her party's victory in the upcoming parliamentary polls.

Returning to Lucknow after a short visit to Jaipur, where her husband Robert Vadra and his mother Maureen appeared before the ED in connection with a probe into an alleged land scam in Rajasthan's border town of Bikaner, Priyanka got cracking at the UP Congress headquarters.

 Priyanka Gandhi presser updates: Congress leader to address media for first time since being appointed general secretary

File image of Priyanka Gandhi. AFP

The party office in Lucknow buzzed with activity as enthusiastic Congress workers gathered outside the UPCC building, even before she returned from an overnight stay in Jaipur.

Immediately after reaching the party office, she was closeted 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 party's preparations for the Lok Sabha elections.

Party sources had said she held meetings till late in the evening with 10-20 people each from these constituencies to gauge the situation on the ground.

She met 70 people from Lucknow, which was the highest number.

The sources said Priyanka took feedback on Congress' organisational set up, its rival parties and what was its position on the ground.

Those who met her were asked to fill up a one-page form on how long they had been associated with the party.

Priyanka Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia, along with Rahul Gandhi, had held a grand roadshow in Lucknow on Monday, raising hopes of a turnaround in the party's fortunes.

Virtually launching the party's Lok Sabha poll campaign, Rahul Gandhi had on Monday asserted that it was the time to uproot the BJP and form government in the state.

"Their (Priyanka and Scindia) aim is definitely the Lok Sabha elections, but it is also to bring a Congress government here," he had said, adding, "the Congress began its journey from Uttar Pradesh and it cannot remain weak in the state... the Congress has to improve its performance in UP in the LS polls and from government in the next assembly elections".

Giving a sense what her entry means to the party workers in Uttar Pradesh where the Congress has been struggling electorally for years, posters showed Priyanka Gandhi in 'Durga Mata' (Hindu Goddess) avatar riding a lion.

"Maa Durga ka roop behen Priyankaji (Sister Priyankaji is Maa Durga's incarnation)," said one poster, while some others highlighted her resemblance to Indira Gandhi, her grandmother.

Priyanka's entry into active politics has been at a time when the party is not only witnessing one of the most difficult times electorally but has also been sidelined by prospective allies for 'mahagatbandhan', with the Samajwadi Party and BSP totally ignoring it while forming their alliance.

The Congress had fared miserably during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections by winning just two of 80 seats in the state.

Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka's area of responsibility, has Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency Varanasi. The region is also seen as a stronghold of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

On the day of her political debut in Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka also joined Twitter and garnered a massive response with tens of thousands following her on the social media platform within hours.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Feb 14, 2019 19:27:05 IST