Priyanka Gandhi wows crowds in Lucknow along with Rahul, Scindia

Frederick Owens
February 11, 2019

Weeks after Priyanka Gandhi's formal entry into politics, BJP parliamentarian Harish Dwivedi on Saturday took a dig at the Congress leader while invoking her choice of dresses in a demeaning way.

Priyanka and Jyotiraditya Scindia will arrive in Lucknow Monday on their first trip to the state after being appointed the Congress general secretaries in-charge of eastern and western UP respectively. On January 30, Surendra Singh, BJP MLA from Rohaniya constituency of Uttar Pradesh dubbed the Congress president "Raavan" and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra "Surpanakha" - the demons from Hindu epic Ramayana. It came hours before Congress' Uttar Pradesh campaign rally. She has so far followed seven accounts and they include Congress President Rahul Gandhi, the Congress, Ahmed Patel, Randeep S Surjewala, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot.

Posters of Priyanka lined the streets of the state capital, Lucknow, and hundreds of Congress supporters, accompanied by drummers, chanted her name as she emerged from the airport with her brother. It especially needs a breakthrough in Uttar Pradesh where the BJP won 71 of the state's 80 seats in 2014.

But a string of BJP defeats in state elections late previous year and rising discontent over a weak farm economy and lacklustre jobs growth have weakened Modi's position, which an increasingly aggressive Congress is looking to capitalize on.

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"Come, join us and bring change to Uttar Pradesh", he said.

Priyanka's appointment as the general secretary assumes significance as the Congress is desperately trying to revive itself in the Hindi-speaking state, which used to be its bastion till the mid-1980s.

"I have hope that together we will start a new kind of politics, a politics in which all of you will be stakeholders".

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