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Battle for UP: Priyanka Gandhi to formally kick off campaign today

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Lucknow, Mar 14: Uttar Pradesh is politically the most important state for Lok Sabha elections as the state sends 80 MPs to the Lower House. Winning 71 out of the 80 seats in previous general elections was one of the important factors which propelled the BJP to power in 2014. The Congress could just win 2 seats in UP in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Priyanka Gandhi

This time around, the Congress wants to leave no stone unturned to win the 'UP battle', and for this, the grand old party has made Priyanka Gandhi the in-charge of the crucial eastern UP. Priyanka Gandhi would formally kick off the party's poll campaign from Allahabad on Friday (March 15) and is likely to take the river route to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency Varanasi, a PTI report said.

Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar said office-bearers of the state unit of the party discussed the details of her programme, which will be declared Friday after seeking certain official clearance. 

"Congress national general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanaka Gandhi Vadra is arriving here tomorrow," Babbar told reporters.

A senior leader said she will begin her campaign from Allahabad, the birthplace of the first prime minister and her great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru, from where she may take the river route to Varanasi.

"She may take the river route to reach out to the poor people, especially those residing on the river banks, and who have been continuously facing hardships for the past 30 years," Babbar said.

[UP to vote in seven phases, high octane political battle on cards]

In Allahabad, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is also likely to visit the historic Anand Bhawan, the erstwhile ancestral home of the Nehru family, now dedicated as a museum housing the personal belongings of Jawaharlal Nehru and his father Motilal Nehru. The buzz in Congress circles is that she may take the river route to Varanasi via Mirzapur. She may offer prayers at Maa Vindhayavasini temple in Mirzapur and Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi.

A high octane political battle is on the cards in UP and the state will vote on different dates over the 40 days beginning April 11. UP will vote on April 11, 18, 23 and 29 and May 6, 12 and 19.

OneIndia News with PTI inputs

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