Amid ‘Indira is back’ chant, Priyanka makes debut in UP

LUCKNOW: It appeared to be a political spring for the Congress in the state today. The rousing reception made Congress president Rahul Gandhi to declare that the party without hesitation would fight on the front foot in every state.

editorial@tribune.com

Shahira Naim

Tribune News Service

Lucknow, February 11

It appeared to be a political spring for the Congress in the state today. The rousing reception made Congress president Rahul Gandhi to declare that the party without hesitation would fight on the front foot in every state.

Thanking Lucknow for the love-filled grand reception to the two newly appointed general secretaries — Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Jyotiraditya Scindia — Rahul said they had been appointed to end the “injustice” of the current government and establish a “just” government.

Announcing the new responsibilities of Priyanka, Scindia and the UP Congress team, Rahul said he wanted them to ensure a better performance during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls but guarantee a Congress government in the Vidhan Sabha polls.

The unprecedented crowds lined the 15-km route from the Chaudhary Charan Singh airport to the UPCC headquarters, which was covered in around five hours. The entire route was decked up with posters, hoardings and slogans comparing Priyanka with her grandmother and former PM Indira Gandhi.

“Priyanka nahi yeh aandhi hai, doosri Indira Gandhi hai (This is not Priyanka but a storm, a second Indira Gandhi)”. Even the bus which had been refurbished as a rath had a poster showing Indira Gandhi with the slogan “In mein tum dikhti ho (You remind us of her).” On the way, the Congress entourage stopped at the Hazratganj crossing where Rahul, Priyanka and Scindia garlanded the statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar and Sardar Patel.

The rath, a bus with a barricaded top, had to be abandoned near Hussainganj crossing when it got stuck in the low-lying overhead wires.

The leaders shifted to an SUV till Hazratganj crossing from where they returned to the rath till the UPCC headquarters. Priyanaka kept waving and accepting the welcome of the party leaders and cadres with folded hands. She was even seen interacting with some of them who had approached her for selfies, giving her security a tough time. However, those who had come to hear her had to return disappointed as she and Scindia did not address the crowd either on the way or at the UPCC headquarters. Only Rahul addressed those present.

Cutouts of the Rafael jet were displayed by Rahul as well as many members of the crowd during the roadshow. A set of youngsters with alphabets painted on their stomach which together read ‘Chowkidar chor hai’ accompanied the rath and fascinated Rahul enough to take their photograph on his mobile phone.

After addressing the gathering, Rahul left the party HQ along with Priyanka, who has reportedly left for Jaipur to be with husband Robert Vadra. She is expected to return tomorrow and remain at the Nehru Bhawan till February 14.

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