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Uttar Pradesh

Priyanka ‘Doosri Indira’ for UP Congress Cadre

February 12, 2019 06:11 AM

COURTESY ET FEB 12

PRIYANKA KICKS OFF LUCKNOW RALLY
Priyanka ‘Doosri Indira’ for UP Congress Cadre
Aman.Sharma@timesgroup.com

Lucknow:

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra did not speak a single word publicly during her first visit to Lucknow as Congress general secretary. But her picture on the Congress truck, placed strategically beside a black-and-white picture of her grandmother Indira Gandhi, did all the talking. Congress leaders who waited to greet her during her five-hour road show across Lucknow called her ‘Doosri Indira Gandhi’ while some of the thousands of posters erected along the way proclaimed ‘Indira is back’.


Going by the crowds that the Congress managed to pull, Priyanka’s debut was a clear hit. Smiling, waving and folding her hands repeatedly while greeting Congress workers, she stood to the left on the rooftop of the bus so that Congress workers, who set up nearly 40 welcome stages on the 15-km route could see her, even at a distance.

Crowds thronged to catch a glimpse of Priyanka as the cavalcade passed through the heart of Lucknow. She picked up a child at Hazratganj intersection and kissed her, took a Rafale dummy plane from a supporter to hold it aloft and admired a t-shirt handed to her by a supporter which said that Rahul Gandhi as the next prime minister would bring the country out of darkness. As Priyanka watched, Rahul Gandhi pulled out his phone on one occasion to click pictures of men atop a flyover who had body-painted his slogan ‘Chowkidaar Chor Hai’.

Congress placed front-page advertisements in all newspapers on Monday on the road-show’s route and thousands of hoardings sprung up overnight at all major roads and intersections. The slogan on the bus –– ‘Badlav Ki Aandhi, Rahul Sung Priyanka Gandhi’ made the Congress’ intention clear –– that the brother-sister duo would take on the BJP with double-effort. The word on the street was, however, different: will this be enough to revive the Congress in UP? Opposition parties claimed that much of the crowd seemed ‘arranged’ by the Congress leaders who are seeking tickets. However, the sentiment among Congress workers –– especially the old-time workers who arrived at the Congress office perhaps after years just to see Priyanka on Monday –– was that she is the true inheritor of Indira Gandhi’s legacy. “Wait for her to go for campaign into the villages of UP. People will say she is Indira re-born,” a veteran Congress worker told ET.

 

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