Uttar Pradesh Congress headquarters at Nehru Bhawan in Mall Avenue and the route from Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport at Amausi airport to it are being decked up to accord a grand welcome to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on her first visit to the state capital on Monday after taking over as AICC general secretary in-charge of UP East.
Priyanka will have her hands full during her four-day visit to Lucknow as she will meet senior leaders and office-bearers of the party.
Priyanka will be accompanied by her brother and Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Congress general secretary in-charge for western UP, Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Elaborate security arrangement has been made for the high-profile visit as the Gandhi siblings have Special Protection Group (SPG) protection.
Congress office-bearers said here on Saturday said that Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka and Scindia would touch down at Amausi airport on Monday noon and thereafter hold a roadshow on 10-km stretch to Nehru Bhawan.
Prior to reaching the party headquarters, the Congress leaders will garland statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr BR Ambedkar, Rajiv Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
The route of the roadshow has been decked up with hordings of Congress leaders with huge photos of Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi. They will be welcomed by party workers and leaders at more than 30 points.
UP Congress chief Raj Babbar had been camping in Lucknow for the last two days to oversee preparations and he held a meeting with Lucknow District Congress Committee in this regard on Friday. However, on Saturday, he flew to Delhi to attend a meeting of state Congress chiefs with Rahul Gandhi.
“An advance team of AICC and Priyanka’s office have reached Lucknow along with all AICC secretaries in-charge of UP on Friday night,” party sources said.
A SPG team led by a senior officer also reached Lucknow on Saturday to co-ordinate with UP Police the security of Rahul and Priyanka during their road show.
The SPG team also inspected Congress headquarters where Priyanka will be meeting leaders during her four-day stay.
Sources said that Priyanka would be interacting with party leaders of 42 Lok Sabha constituencies of east UP, for which 20 senior Congress leaders from each constituency have been invited. The participants would include sitting and former MPs and MLAs, district and block chiefs, office-bearers of frontal outfits and poll aspirants.
Scindia would also meet leaders of 38 Lok Sabha constituencies of west UP, but the time of the meeting has not yet been finalised. In all probability, Scindia’s meeting could be held in Agra next week.
“Priyanka’s four-day stay will be a concerted effort to get inputs from leaders at the grassroot level and strengthen the party in the state,” a senior leader commented.
In Lucknow, Priyanka will dedicate an hour to each parliamentary constituency and take up 14 constituencies per day starting from Tuesday.
The Congress leaders are eyeing the visit as the virtual launch of the party’s poll campaign in the state, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
“Congress workers are excited about the visit of party leaders and we are awaiting to give them a rousing welcome... we hope that with her (Priyanka Gandhi Vadra) joining active politics, the state will also get a new energy,” chief state Congress spokesperson Rajiv Bakshi said.
“This is a very auspicious time for us and a good omen for the party,” he said.