U.P. Congress leaders want Priyanka Gandhi to lead the State unit

Party leaders speak of her OBC, Dalit and women outreach during her years in-charge that helped them turn the tide in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls

Published - June 10, 2024 03:59 am IST - Lucknow

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. | Photo Credit: PTI

After the Congress’s improved performance in Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha polls, party leaders here on June 9 demanded that former Uttar Pradesh in-charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra take up the responsibility again and leader the grand old party’s revival in the State.

Speaking to The Hindu, party leaders in the State said that the organisation rebuilt by Ms. Vadra during the 2022 Assembly polls helped them in the 2024 election. Her focus on lower OBC and Dalit communities gave rich dividends, they said, adding that it was the best time for her to take up such a responsibility.

“Yes, we want Priyanka ji to assume the responsibility of U.P. Congress as general secretary in-charge, the way Priyanka ji revamped and rebuilt the organisation in the 2021-22 period gave us dividends in these polls, with lower OBCs, Dalits and other marginalised sections voting for Congress and INDIA bloc in Uttar Pradesh, apart from women electorate. During her time, large representation was given to these sections in organisational structure and ticket distribution,” Shahnawaz Alam, president of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Minority department, told The Hindu.

The Congress won its pocket boroughs of Rae Bareli and Amethi, apart from Saharanpur, Sitapur, Allahabad and Barabanki in the 2024 polls. The Congress leaders also pointed towards Ms. Vadra’s focused campaign in Rae Bareli and Amethi for more than 10 days, describing the victory in both seats as a result of her “hard work”. “The team built by Priyanka ji worked with her in these seats. In Rae Bareli, we won by 3,90,030 votes, while in Amethi, we won by 1,67,196 votes. It shows people of U.P. are eagerly awaiting her to lead the party,” Mr. Alam added.

Manoj Yadav, the head of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Other Backward Classes (OBC) department, also demanded that Ms. Vadra take the party role. “The outreach among different social groups like OBCs and SCs or even women were done by Priyanka ji, which helped us. We demand from the leadership that she should take up the responsibility which will change the future of Congress in the State,” he said.

The 2024 Lok Sabha poll performance in Uttar Pradesh was the best show by the grand old party after the 2009 polls, when it won 21 seats in the State.

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