Keep the faith: Priyanka's message to Congress

Keep the faith: Priyanka's message to Congress

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra leaves after visiting her office for the first time following her appointment to the party post, at AICC headquarters in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

'Keep the faith' is AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's message to Congress workers from Uttar Pradesh who are anxiously waiting for her to hit the campaign trail in the country's biggest state.

Priyanka walked into the AICC Headquarters on Wednesday evening from the adjacent 10, Janpath residence of her mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi amid frenzied sloganeering from party workers.

She walked into her office, formally assuming charge as AICC General Secretary, and soon a steady stream of visitors made a beeline to meet her.

“Don't lose hope, keep the faith (hausla rakho),” Sultan Ahmed Khan from Bahraich and Salman Khan from Lakhimpur Khiri – both party workers who had been waiting at the AICC quoted Priyanka as saying. The duo was among the first visitors of Priyanka.

An ecstatic Sultan narrated how Priyanka was keen to know about the local issues and the caste equations in Bahraich, a district that dominates six of the seven Assembly constituencies.

Last month, Priyanka made a formal entry in active politics when her elder brother and Congress President Rahul Gandhi appointed her as AICC General Secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, an area that returns Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Lok Sabha and is considered as a stronghold of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Priyanka is expected to visit Lucknow next week where she is expected to be given a grand reception by Congress workers by carrying out a roadshow through the state capital.

With Priyanka in-charge of the state along with AICC General Secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia, Congress is hoping for a revival of the party in the state where it last tasted power nearly three decades ago.

Last month, arch-rivals SP and BSP announced a pre-poll coalition along with RLD for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections leaving the Congress high and dry. The only concession the two regional parties made was by deciding not to field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli the seats represented by Rahul and Sonia respectively.

Among other visitors of Priyanka was Haji Mehboob Sultan alias Bugge Miyan, a General Secretary of the Amethi district unit of the Congress, Supreme Court lawyer Seema Kushwaha from Etawah.

“Priyanka's entry into active politics has raised hopes for women in the state,” said Kushwaha, who was the lawyer in the Nirbhaya rape case.