On a mission to strengthen Congress poll prospects in Amethi and Rae Bareli, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday indicated that she was not averse to campaigning in other parts of poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.

Ms. Vadra, who is on a three-day whistle-stop tour of Amethi and Rae Bareli, represented by her brother Rahul Gandhi and mother Sonia Gandhi respectively, said her focus now was on campaigning for the Congress candidates in the 10 Assembly seats there.

She told journalists in Rae Bareli that she would have to discuss with Mr. Gandhi about campaigning in other parts, and if he wanted she would do so.

While her brother addressed two election rallies at Lalitpur and Mau Ranipur in Jhansi in the Bundelkhand region, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi addressed a poll meeting in Roorkee in neighbouring Uttarakhand. The hill State goes to polls later this month.

Patient hearing

On the second day of her visit, Ms. Vadra encountered a protest by about 200 women workers of Sheena Home Textile Mill in Rae Bareli. The textile mill has been closed since September last and the workers have been rendered jobless. As the women blocked her cavalcade, Ms. Vadra got out of her car and gave them a patient hearing.

Later, Ms. Vadra held a meeting with the party workers of Sareni, Salon (SC), Unchahar and Rae Bareli Sadar Assembly constituencies at Bhuemau guest house in Rae Bareli. She asked them to ensure the success of the party candidates. Congress sources said that at the meeting, no decision could be taken on the candidature for the Rae Bareli Sadar seat. Two aspirants, R.P. Singh and Vinay Singh, have staked their claim. Akhilesh Kumar Singh, a former Congressman, is the sitting MLA. He is contesting as the Peace Party candidate.

On Wednesday, Ms. Vadra will meet the workers of Bachhrawan (SC) and Harchandpur Assembly constituencies in Rae Bareli.

Tackling infighting

Ms. Vadra was in Amethi on Monday. She visited the parliamentary constituency for the first time since the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Aware of the intra-party bickering that followed ticket distribution, Ms. Vadra, in her in-camera meeting with the party workers of four Assembly constituencies in Amethi, exhorted them to end groupism and bury internal differences.

She said flying squads with a secret code would be constituted in the villages to keep a tab on infighting.

Congress sources said Ms. Vadra would return on February 2 for interacting with the voters. The candidatures of Mohammad Naeem from Gauriganj and Radhey Shyam Kanaujia from Jagdishpur (SC), both in Amethi, were finalised by Ms. Vadra on Monday.

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