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Priyanka Gandhi in politics: Significance of Eastern Uttar Pradesh?

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Bengaluru, Jan 23: Priyanka Gandhi's first assignment in active politics as in-charge of Eastern Uttar Pradesh is a significant development ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi with sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. PTI file photo

The region of eastern UP is politically sensitive for its association with Varanasi, Ayodhya, Gorakhpur. In fact, Varanasi and Gorakhpur parliamentary constituencies are represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP CM Yogi Aditynatah.

Uttar Pradesh (East), also called as Purvanchal, comprises the eastern end of Uttar Pradesh and the western end of Bihar, where Hindi, and its dialects Bhojpuri are the predominant language.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra enters active politics, appointed Congress General Secretary for UP(East)

According to senior journalist Shekhar Gupta, "The story isn't just that Priyanka Gandhi is formally entering politics. It is that she has chosen the one region most tough for Congress: Eastern UP where she directly takes on Modi & Yogi. This kind of go-for-broke risk-taking is uncharacteristic of Congress/Gandhi family."

Poorvanchal is also known for dense population, communal polarization The region has 28 Lok Sabha seats (the number varies as the region is loosely defined).

Priyanka Gandhi in politics: Significance of Eastern Uttar Pradesh?

Also, her brother Rahul Gandhi's Lok Sabha constituency, Amethi, comes under the Easter UP region. Priyanka Gandhi had regularly visited her mother's and brother's constituencies of Rae Bareilly and Amethi where she dealt with the people directly. A popular slogan in Amethi in every election has been Amethi ka danka, bitiya Priyanka (the clarion call from Amethi is for Priyanka [to stand elections].

In the Indian general election, 2004, she was her mother's campaign manager and helped supervise her brother Rahul Gandhi's campaign. In the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, 2007, while Rahul Gandhi managed the statewide campaign, she focused on the ten seats in the Amethi Rae Bareilly region, spending two weeks there trying to quell considerable infighting within the party workers over seat allocations.

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