Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who has been hailed as the big game changer for the Congress in the crucial electoral state of Uttar Pradesh, will arrive in Lucknow on Monday for a four-day visit, her first trip to the state after formally joining politics two weeks ago.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi and general secretary in charge of western Uttar Pradesh, Jyotiraditya Scindia, will accompany her on the visit to the state capital as she takes stock of party preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
On the eve of her maiden visit as Congress general secretary for UP east, she released an audio message starting with “Namaskar, Mai Priyanka Gandhi Vadra bol rahi hu (Hello, this is Priyanka Gandhi Vadra speaking).
"Tomorrow, I am coming to Lucknow to meet all of you. I have hope in my heart that together we will start a new kind of politics, a politics in which all of you will be stakeholders — my young friends, my sisters and even the weakest person, all their voices will be heard," said Gandhi through the Congress's Shakti App.
Congress workers are planning a roadshow when the three leaders travel from the airport to the party's state headquarters. More than 28 spots have been identified on the route from Airport to UPCC office in Mall Avenue area where the three leaders will be felicitated by party workers.
The trio is expected to address the crowd and media at Lalbagh trisection, post which they will head towards Hazratganj where they will garland idols of Sardar Patel, BR Ambedkar and Mahatama Gandhi before finally heading towards party office.
After her brief appearance before the media while dropping off husband Robert Vadra at the Enforcement Directorate office in Delhi on Wednesday, the Lucknow visit will mark Priyanka’s first public appearance after formally joining the party.
The party in Uttar Pradesh is seeing the visit as the virtual launch of the Congress campaign in the state. "Come, let's build a new future, new politics with me. Thank you," she said in her message to the people ahead of the visit to the state.
The two general secretaries will interact with party workers at the state Congress office in Lucknow on February 12, 13 and 14, while Rahul Gandhi is likely to return the same day.
Scindia, the party’s general secretary for UP west, had also released an audio message. "Tomorrow I am coming to be with you. The youth of Uttar Pradesh need a roadmap for the future and the state needs change. Come align with us and bring change to Uttar Pradesh," he said.
Priyanka Gandhi was appointed a Congress general secretary last month, a move that ended years of speculation over her induction into the party.
Home to 80 Lok Sabha seats, Uttar Pradesh sends the highest number of MPs to Parliament, making it a key electoral battleground. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party faces a challenge here from the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj alliance, while the Congress is trying hard to retrieve lost ground in the state.