Priyanka Gandhi eyes Muslim vote bank in UP?

Priyanka Gandhi eyes Muslim vote bank in UP?

Priyanka's frequent visits to the Muslim dominated areas have triggered unease among the SP and BSP

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra meets with Muslim women who have been agitating against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), at Bilariyaganj in Azamgarh, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's recent visit to the Muslim dominated Bilariyaganj, a non-descript town in Uttar Pradesh's Azamgarh district, about 300 kilometres from here, where several women had staged protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act and were injured in the police lathi charge, triggered unease among the Samajwadi Party (SP) and BSP.

Striving to re-establish her party in the political landscape of the state, that sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha, Priyanka had her eyes fixed firmly on the Muslim vote bank, when she hugged the Muslim women and took little kids in her lap, during the visit.

A predominantly Muslim town, people, especially the women, had turned up in large numbers to listen to Priyanka, who vowed to stand by them and take up the alleged police atrocity with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

Priyanka, who drove to Bilariyanganj from Varanasi, passed through several small towns, where also people accorded her rousing receptions much to the delight of the Congress leaders.

Azamgarh, incidentally, was the LS constituency of SP president Akhilesh Yadav. Several Muslim women complained that Akhilesh did not bother to visit them after the incident.

The Congress general secretary has been meeting the families, which had lost their members in alleged police firing during the anti-CAA protests in different parts of the state in December.

She visited Meerut, Bijnore and Varanasi, the Lok Sabha constituency of prime minister Narendra Modi, in the past few days and met the anti-CAA protesters to express solidarity with them.

Priyanka's frequent visits to the Muslim dominated areas have triggered unease among the SP and BSP, which considered the community their vote bank. 

Political observers here say that the Congress leader was trying to weave 'Brahmin-Muslim' electoral combination to enable her party to regain its lost glory in the state. 

''We will gain immensely if we are able to win over the two communities,'' said a senior UP Congress leader here.