SP-BSP 'rebels' queuing to meet Priyanka

SP-BSP 'rebels' queuing to meet Priyanka

Newly appointed Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is all set to launch her party's election campaign from the state capital next week.

Leaders of Samajwadi Party (SP) and BSP, who could be denied nominations by their respective parties owing to the electoral alliance in Uttar Pradesh, have already started queuing up to meet Priyanka even before her arrival here.

According to the state Congress leaders here, Priyanka, her brother and Congress president Rahul Gandhi and in-charge of the western UP Jyotiraditya Scindia would be arriving in the state capital on Monday.

"They will be holding a road show in the state capital... we are preparing to accord them a rousing reception," state Congress leader Rajiv Buxi here said on Thursday.

Welcome arches would be erected throughout their journey to the state party headquarters and flower petals would be showered on them, Buxi said. 

Sources said that Priyanka and Scindia would be meeting party leaders from all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state and review party's organisational strength in those seats.

According to sources, several SP and BSP leaders, who felt that they were denied nominations owing to the electoral alliance between the two parties, have been trying to meet Priyanka to "explore" the possibilities of joining the Congress.

Sultan Ahmed Khan, the son of Athar Khan, a one time close aide of BSP supremo Mayawati, met Priyanka at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi on Wednesday.

"It (meeting) shows that Priyankaji is giving preference to grass-root level workers... it is a good thing," remarked Athar Khan, who enjoyed the Minister of State status during Mayawati's regime in 2008 and had been in charge of the BSP in Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Gujarat earlier.

Sources said that many other SP, BSP leaders were likely to meet Priyanka during her stay in the state capital.

Priyanka, who has also been made in-charge of the eastern UP region, would be visiting Varanasi and Allahabad in the next few days.

The brother-sister duo is also likely to take the holy dip at 'Sangam' (the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Sarswati rivers) at Prayagraj next week.