UP Elections 2017: Sonia, Priyanka missing, Congress workers pin hopes on their photos

By: | Updated: February 22, 2017 12:30 PM

Elections in Uttar Pradesh generally offer high-decibel campaigning, Offensive personal jibes and extensive rallies by political stalwarts.

Elections in Uttar Pradesh generally offer high-decibel campaigning, Offensive personal jibes and extensive rallies by political stalwarts. (PTI)

Elections in Uttar Pradesh generally offer high-decibel campaigning, Offensive personal jibes and extensive rallies by political stalwarts. Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017 is no different except for one thing, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her daughter Priyanka did not hit the campaign trails this time. While Sonia is conspicuously missing from the scene, Priyanka, apart from her one-off rally in Rae Bareli, has by and large remained invisible even as three phases of polling are done and campaigning for the fourth phase had ended yesterday. In their absence, Congress candidates and functionaries in Amethi and Rae Bareli have decided to woo voters with the “photographs” of these leaders.

“Congress sources said Priyanka had never campaigned extensively in Assembly elections barring 2012. Sources also spoke about the eye injury her son sustained some time ago. Although he has recovered, they say he still needs her attention,” according to The Indian Express report. Sonia Gandhi has also not joined campaign due to health reasons.

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In the 2012 Assembly Elections, Priyanka had camped for about two weeks in these 10 constituencies and touched each and every block through small public meetings. But her efforts had failed to yield optimum results as Congress managed to secure only two of 10 seats.

Priyanka, who has in the past played the role of campaign manager for her mother as well as brother, was present with Rahul during the meeting in Rae Bareli Sadar Assembly constituency on February 17. Candidates from other seats were called to this meeting but she did not speak. Only Rahul addressed the crowd there. Later in the day, she accompanied Rahul to Bachharawan constituency, where both addressed the crowd.

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Halfway into the elections, campaigning for six seats in Rae Bareli closed lat evening for tomorrow’s fourth-phase polling. This time, despite the alliance, Congress and SP candidates are contesting against each other on four seats. In Amethi, where elections for three seats will take place in the fifth phase, Congress district president Yogendra Mishra is still hopeful. “Rahul Gandhi is coming here for a public meeting. There is demand for Priyankaji also from the candidates. She might join Rahulji,” a leader told Indian Express.

Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she had called him an “outsider” who is not needed to develop the state. “The Prime Minister says he has been adopted by Uttar Pradesh. But let me ask you, does UP require adopted sons for its development?” Priyanka asked the gathering at a rally in Rae Bareli, adding that a leader of UP can only be someone from within the state. Quashing Modi’s claims that Varanasi has adopted him and he will work like a son of Uttar Pradesh, she said, “UP doesn’t need to adopt sons, it has its own,” she said, adding that Uttar Pradesh resides in the heart of Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi, who have always worked for its upliftment. “I ask you to spurn those who lie to you, who fail to deliver their promises. Choose those who want to work for you, those who want to develop the state,” she said. “PM ne kaha mujhe UP ne godh liya aur mein UP ka vikas karoonga. Kya UP ko vikas ke liye kisi ko godh lene ki zarurat hai?”, she said, adding “what kind of leader will you choose? One who doesn’t keep his promises or someone who will work for the people of this state?” Priyanka had said.

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