'We will form govt or be a part of ruling coalition in UP'
Party functionaries at Amethi, who met Priyanka Vadra said that she was upbeat and exuded confidence about a spectacular performance by the Congress party in the Uttar Pradesh polls. Sharat Pradhan reports from Amethi.
Priyanka Vadra, the daughter of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who arrived in Amethi on Monday to give a boost to party campaigners in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, made it clear to partymen that the party was all set to ride to power in the country's most populous state after a gap of two decades.
"We will either form our own government or join hands with another political outfit to be a part of the ruling coalition in Uttar Pradesh," she is said to have told Dr M Muslim, a Congress candidate, whom met her during the course of closed-door meetings with party men at the otherwise impregnable guest house of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation run Sanjay Gandhi hospital.
While she completely shunned the media, whose teams kept hanging around outside the heavily guarded gates of the guest house, local party functionaries, whom she met, told mediaperons that Priyanka was quite upbeat and exuded confidence about a spectacular performance of the Congress party at the hustings next month.
Another local party leader Radhey Pratap Singh told this scribe, "She has assured us to return to this place to lead the campaign from February 2."
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Image: Rahul and Priyanka flanked by Sonia Gandhi and Robert Vadra
'Rahul efforts in UP will bring rich dividends'
Priyanka Vadra told party men in no uncertain terms that she would limit her campaign only to the five assembly segments under Amethi parliamentary constituency of her brother Rahul Gandhi, and the five assembly segments of her mother's Rae Bareli parliamentary constituency. However, she did give them hope of the Congress party's return to governance in a state where it has nearly been written off.
"Rahul has been working hard in UP and I am sure his efforts will bring rich dividends," she told party men, while adding, "I have assured Rahul that I will join him in ensuring that the Congress wins all the ten assembly seats in Amethi and Rae Bareli this time." As of now, Congress has three assembly seats in Amethi and four in Rae Bareli.
Priyanka laid particular emphasis on seats where the Congress had lost by a thin margin. Euphoric as the party men appeared over her arrival on an utterly cold winter afternoon, Maulana Haji Ashraf, a block level Congress leader said, "Priyanka Gandhi's warmth and energy recharges everybody so much so that we can now beat the chilly weather too with a smile."
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Image: Rahul Gandhi with sister Priyanka Vadra
Priyanka gets warm reception at Amethi
Priyanka arrived from New Delhi in a chartered aircraft which landed at an airstrip at Indira Gandhi Flying Academy in Fursatganj, about 35 km from Amethi. Dressed in a red saree, she went about acknowledging the greetings of locals who lined up all along the route to the guest house to cheer her.
Even as she confined herself to the four walls of the guest house, women supporters of the party who had gathered in huge numbers outside the gates, went about singing parodies in her honour, while men raised cries of 'Priyanka Gandhi zindabad'.
Politically important Uttar Pradesh sends 80 members to the Parliament and has a 403 -- member state assembly to which elections are to be held in a five-phase schedule between February 8 and March 4.