Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, on Monday, took on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, saying that only time would tell which party -- Congress or BJP -- had lost existence in the country's politically most crucial state -- Uttar Pradesh.
Priyanka Vadra, who is touring her mother Sonia Gandhi's parliamentary constituency Rae Bareli and the lost bastion of Amethi, was responding to UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya's claim that the state had got rid of Congress.
A day earlier, on Sunday, she had taken a jibe at a government advertisement claiming that fake development had been highlighted by the BJP in the name of ‘Transforming UP’.
“We fulfilled what we promised to the public,” Priyanka Vadra asserted while saying that the people would reply to the BJP for cheating them with false promises of ‘achhey din’ and for even depriving the public of two meals by snatching their jobs or through unemployment besides a steep hike in prices of all essential commodities, including petroleum products, edible oils and other edible items.
Meanwhile, Congress Pradesh Election Committee (PEC) chairman Salman Khurshid reiterated a well-known fact that Congress would contest the 2022 UP polls under the leadership of Priyanka Vadra.
Making it clear that Congress would not stitch an alliance with any party and would go it alone in the UP polls, Khurshid said that his party had not yet decided on its chief ministerial candidate but it would field candidates on all 403 assembly constituencies in UP.
Khurshid, who was in Agra to take people's feedback for the party manifesto, stressed that the manifesto would include voices of the common people by visiting assembly constituencies to get a sense of the problems being faced by the locals.
"This will make people happy and they can say that this manifesto is their own," the Congress leader said.
"We have visited other districts such as Ayodhya, Jhansi, Gorakhpur, and others and on Sunday in Agra, we interacted with the natives of Tora village. People complained about several issues such as pension for widows and old people," Khurshid said.
Meanwhile, Priyanka Vadra on Monday, left for Delhi after wrapping up her five-day tour of the state during which she exhorted party workers to work round-the-clock for the 2022 UP assembly polls.
The party has asked prospective candidates to submit applications by September 26, a party leader had said.
Ending her five-day tour, she told party workers in Rae Bareli that Congress was planning to declare candidates well in time for the upcoming elections. Vadra, who is faced with a stiff challenge to halt Congress' slide in the state, had begun her tour on Thursday starting with the state capital Lucknow. On Friday, Congress had announced a 12,000 km-long yatra through villages and towns of the state ahead of the polls. The decision to take out the yatra was taken at a meeting presided over by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and attended by members of the party's advisory and strategy committee.
The Congress general secretary, on the next day, held marathon meetings with party office-bearers in Lucknow and said their views would be crucial in the distribution of tickets for the upcoming polls. Priyanka Vadra on Sunday toured Rae Bareli constituency, the bastion of the Gandhi family since the days of Indira Gandhi. Rae Bareli has five assembly constituencies out of which two each are with the Congress and the BJP and one is with the Samajwadi Party. However, both the Congress MLAs from the district -- Rakesh Pratap Singh from Harchandpur and Aditi Singh from Rae Bareli Sadar -- are technically in Congress but in reality both are now more associated with the BJP. Rakesh’s brother Dinesh Pratap Sing is also a Congress MLC on papers but he contested the last parliamentary election against Sonia Gandhi from Rae Bareli parliamentary constituency though he lost the election to the Congress president.
According to Rae Bareli District Congress Committee spokesperson Vinay Dwivedi, office-bearers of the district and city units of the party met Priyanka Vadra. Members of various frontal organisations, party candidates and zila panchayat members of the Congress also met her.