'It's like Indira has come back': Priyanka Gandhi Vadra makes political debut

Sergio Conner
February 11, 2019

A day before her maiden visit to the state as Congress general secretary in-charge of western Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi said she hopes to start a "new kind of politics" in which everyone will be a stakeholder. She will also be its face in Uttar Pradesh, the state that sends the highest number of lawmakers to the lower house of parliament and is now dominated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

A mega roadshow in Lucknow that drew thousands grandly marked Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's entry into active politics on Monday.

Rahul Gandhi, her elder brother and president of the main opposition Indian National Congress party, last month appointed her to the post of general secretary.

Analysts say Modi faces a tougher fight this time from Congress which won a clutch of state polls in late 2018, tapping into discontent over the lack of new jobs and farm debt.

At one point at Burlington crossing, Priyanka Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Scindia and the other leaders had to lower their heads and eventually dismount from the truck to escape dangerously low hanging electric wires.

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Congress workers are planning a roadshow when the three leaders travel from the airport to the party's state headquarters.

"Come, join us and bring change to Uttar Pradesh", he said.

"Aa gayi badlaav ki aandhi, Rahul sung Priyanka Gandhi" (The storm is coming, Rahul along with Priyanka Gandhi), was a favourite slogan among the supporters, many of whom wore caps and T-shirts with Priyanka's picture embossed on them. Twitter has also verified the account.

"Come, let's build a new future, new politics with me", Vadra said.

From 21 seats in the 2009 general election in Uttar Pradesh, Congress' tally fell to just two in 2014.

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