Priyanka Gandhi embarks on 'Ganga Yatra'; 'Boat pe charcha, temple visits on the cards
Lucknow, Mar 18: As part of her three-day campaign in the politically crucial state, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, who is also the in-charge for eastern Uttar Pradesh, today embarked on a 140-kilometre long 'ganga-yatra' on a boat. Priyanka will start her boat ride from Manaiya shortly during which she will hold a "boat pe charcha" with a delegation of students.
The boat ride will start at Manaiya and culminate at Sitamarhi on Monday. At around 11 a.m., she is expected to visit Dumduma where she will hold a meeting with the public. At around 12 noon, Priyanka will visit Sirsa and then to Lakchhagrih at 1 p.m. Reception events have also been planned at the ghats. In the second half of the day, she will visit Manda before ending her day in Sitamarhi.
For the next two days, Priyanka will be in Mirzapur and at the PM's Constituency Varanasi where she would visit Kashivishwanath temple and celebrate holy with workers, said reports
With Uttar Pradesh being the most important state politically, the Congress, which could manage to win just two out of the 80 seats in the state, does not want to leave anything for chance. The grand old party is leaving no stone unturned to better its performance in UP which is key to forming the government.
During her three-day campaign, Priyanka Gandhi is likely to take on PM Modi over the Namami Gange project which was one of the poll planks of the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Priyanka is also scheduled to meet the family of martyrs of the Pulwama attack during her three-day campaign.
Sounding the poll bugle from the banks of river Ganga, Congress' in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh on Sunday said political stagnancy had left the youths, women, farmers and labourers distressed in Uttar Pradesh and it was her responsibility to change the politics here.
Priyanka Gandhi, who used to prefer staying away from the limelight, was in January made Congress' east Uttar Pradesh incharge, and since then she has been frequently visiting the state, meeting the cadres and charting out strategies for the upcoming elections.
Why is Priyanka Gandhi's Varanasi visit significant?
Priyanka Gandhi had earlier sought feedback of development works carried out at the Prime Minister's Lok Sabha constituency in the past five years. So, it is clear that she wants to visit Modi's seat with full preparation and may even give directions to the Congress workers as to how campaign there and take on immense popularity of the Prime Minister. It would be interesting to see how Priyanka assesses the ground situation in Varanasi. The most important thing for her would be to find out what people feel about PM Modi's development work in his Lok Sabha and whether it has made a positive impact on their lies.
If Priyanka can identify disenchantment among people of Varanasi over development in the region which sent Modi to Parliament then she can really build a strong narrative around it. If she can leverage on it, then it can potentially be a political masterstroke.