Describing Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as the "second Indira Gandhi" and a "storm of change," UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu on Sunday exuded confidence that the party will emerge victorious under her leadership in the 2022 state assembly polls.
He also claimed that the Yogi Adityanath government in UP "fears" both Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
"Priyanka Gandhi is the second Indira Gandhi. She is the storm of change (badlaav ki yeh aandhi, jiskaa naam Priyanka Gandhi hai). Under her leadership, the Congress will emerge victorious in the 2022 UP Assembly elections," he said.
"This BJP government (headed by Yogi Adityanath) fears both Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, as it knows that if the brother-sister hit the streets, it will start sweating," Lallu told PTI in an interview here.
Asked whether he will be the CM face of the party in the 2022 polls, he said, "No. I am only a party worker, and my 'dharma' is to work for the party's ideology. Congress has a glorious history of participating in various struggles. And on the basis of these struggles, history has been changed."
On Samajwadi Party and its president Akhilesh Yadav, the UP Congress chief said, "The people of the state had given a mandate to the Samajwadi Party as the principal opposition party in the state. But, it has failed on that front."
Terming the ongoing bypolls as quite significant, he said party candidates were selected in consultation with local party workers and office-bearers.
"The party workers and office bearers are working very hard, and there is an indication of good results for the party."
He also said that the Congress adheres to the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi, and serves the country by embarking on the path of truth and non-violence.
"On the contrary, the BJP's style of working and policies are divisive," he charged.
The newly-appointed UPCC chief said, "We will strive hard to regain the lost support and mandate. For this we have to work very hard, and devise strategies at the village level as well as district level".
"All the frontal organisations of the party are working hard, and the target is to strengthen the organisation by holding seminars, workshops, meetings, training programmes and night halts at the district, block, tehsil and panchayat level. The Sewa Dal is being strengthened with regular training programmes," he said.
Lallu said, "Our fight is against wrong policies of the BJP, as the farmer has been devastated, there is increasing unemployment, the condition of the poor and labourers has gone from bad to worse. Industrialists are now shying from coming to UP, and those who are already in the state, they are mulling to leave the state.
"The facilities and security, which they (industrialists) should have got from the BJP government is negligible. Our fight is on these issues," he said.
Asserting that the truth can be harassed, but not defeated ('sayta pareshaan ho sakta hai, per parajit nahi ho sakta hai'), Lallu said, "We have started moving towards our target, and now no one can stop the UP Congress from surging ahead."
A two-time MLA from Tamkuhi Raj constituency, Lallu is considered close to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who is the party's general secretary (incharge, Uttar Pradesh East).
Prior to becoming the UP Congress chief, he was the Congress Legislature Party leader in Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly