LUCKNOW: When it comes to power play, the Gandhi family keeps things in house. On November 19, the birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi, her beloved grand-daughter Priyanka Gandhi will launch a formal, aggressive and focused campaign from the family borough of Allahabad to ratchet up the Congress party’s battle for Uttar Pradesh.
Brother Rahul’s month-long kisan yatra through the State culminated in a lacklustre rally in Delhi late last week after 26 roadshows and 700 meeting points covering 141 Assembly constituencies. Sources said the development indicates sister Priyanka donning a formal role of importance in the party soon. She had extensively campaigned for her brother and mother Sonia in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and the 2012 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, and has dismissed scuttlebutt about a national role as mere gossip. Priyanka’s public outreach will resemble Rahul’s just-concluded campaign in style and substance.
The enigmatic Gandhi daughter has been closely involved with her loquacious brother’s career moves. In September, she had roped in a private agency to handle Rahul’s political projection and image building. Its mandate is also to assess the Congress party’s support and organisational preparedness in the poll-bound State. Haryana Chief Minister
M L Khattar and Andhra Pradesh’s YSR Congress Party chief Jagan Mohan Reddy had hired a similar agency during their poll campaigns.
Insiders believe that the series of public meetings planned by Priyanka will provide a much-needed boost to the party cadre’s morale.
“She is expected to a conduct a series of rallies instead of just one big one as she has done in previous campaigns. Plans are afoot for her to charge up the party’s campaign in the State,” said a source in the State unit. Uttar Pradesh party chief Raj Babbar was unavailable for comment.