LUCKNOW: On a mission to revive Congress in Uttar Pradesh (UP), the grand old party's national general secretary in-charge for UP Priyanka Gandhi Vadra arrived in the state capital on Friday.
Her three-day visit to the UP's capital reportedly happened a year and half after her last trip to Lucknow.
Priyanka's visit to Lucknow happens at a time when the party is plagued by factionalism and after the poor performance of Congress in the recently held three-tier panchayat polls.
She started her trip to Lucknow with a two hour silent dharna against the widespread violence during recent Panchayat polls in the state under the Mahatma Gandhi statue.
After the silent dharna, Priyanka lashed out at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for praising UP CM Yogi Adityanath and state government for handling Covid crisis 'very well'.
"The PM has given certificate of appreciation to his CM and State government for Vikasvad (development) and COVID managment. Which Vikasvad and COVID control was the PM talking about, was it about holding panchayat polls in the state amid the COVID pandemic peak, which caused enormous loss of lives. Everyone has seen how the entire health system had collapsed as the state failed totally during the second wave of the pandemic, but still the PM is rendering certificate of appreciation to his state government," Priyanka said.
She went on to attack the BJP government in the state by raising the issue of violence during recent district panchayat and block pramukh polls.
"Candidates were abducted, bombs were hurled, bullets were fired, nomination papers of candidates were snatched and torn to stop them from filing nominations, women were assaulted and their clothes torn, is this the rule of law and women safety which was being praised by the PM," she questioned further.
"The recent poll violence has shown that democracy and constitution is under attack in UP. It isn't new with this government as it has been happening since last few years, but the situation has become worst now. The administration and police too are being used to finish democracy in the state. But we won't allow this to happen, which is why we are here," Priyanka said amid the massive crowd of party workers openly flouting COVID appropriate behaviour.
During her three days stay in Lucknow, Priyanka will hold deliberations with farmers groups on the new farm laws, besides holding meetings with party rank and file to streamline the Congress organisation before the 2022 assembly polls, which are just seven months away.
However, political observers believe that Priyanka's entry in UP for the poll battle has come very late, particularly as other parties, like BJP, SP and BSP, have already started working on ground.
The Congress' political graph in Uttar Pradesh has been nosediving.
The party which won 269 seats in 1985 assembly polls and 94 seats in 1989 polls, has since then failed to even cross the 50 seats mark in successive assembly polls in the state.
In 2017 polls, the party, despite being in alliance with the then ruling Samajwadi Party came up with its worst performance by winning just 7 seats.