Aggressive Priyanka rattles Opposition parties in UP

Aggressive Priyanka Gandhi Vadra rattles Opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh

Priyanka took the Opposition rivals by surprise when she tried to reach Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Credit: PTI Photo

Striving hard to ensure that her party regains its lost glory in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, where Assembly polls are barely five months away, an aggressive Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra appears to have brought the grand old party back into news and rattled the other Opposition players by outmaneuvering them in seizing the initiatives on major issues.

Whether it was the massacre of ten tribals in Sonebhadra district in 2019 or the alleged gangrape of a Dalit girl in Hathras district a year later, Priyanka was the first to rush there even when the BJP government in the state tried to prevent her from going to those places. She had even sat on a dharna on the road when she was not allowed to proceed to Sonebhadra by the cops.

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Priyanka, who made Lucknow her temporary home after being appointed in-charge of the state party unit, again took the Opposition rivals by surprise when she tried to reach Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3 after the violence there in which eight people, including four farmers, were killed. She managed to evade the police barricades and was barely a few kilometres away from Lakhimpur Kheri town, when she was apprehended by the cops.

In contrast, BSP general secretary S C Mishra cancelled his visit after being served a notice by the police informing about promulgation of section 144. Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav, who had also announced plans to go to Lakhimpur Kheri, was not allowed to come out of his residence by the police.

The administration was later forced to allow the Opposition leaders to visit the families of the slain farmers and Priyanka was the first to reach there with her brother and former party president Rahul Gandhi. She also embarked on a 'maun vrat' in Lucknow demanding resignation of Union minister Ajai Mishra, whose son Ashish was accused of running over four farmers, and also attended the final prayers of the farmers.

Apparently rattled by Priyanka's aggression, SP leaders accused the Congress of 'colluding' with the BJP in the forthcoming polls. "Congress and BJP are different sides of the same coin....they have tacit understanding...the people of the state know this," SP state unit president Naresh Uttam said. 

The Opposition leaders said that the BJP was 'deliberately propping up'' the Congress in the state so that the latter could 'divide' the 'anti-BJP' votes helping the saffron party in the forthcoming Assembly polls.

UP Congress president Ajai Kumar Lallu rejects the charge. ''The Opposition is rattled as Priyanka Gandhi has brought the Congress on the front foot by taking up issues concerning the common people,'' he said.

It remains to be seen if the Congress general secretary is able to bring her party back into contention in the next Assembly polls.

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