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Priyanka Gandhi, Dimple Yadav to campaign together in UP polls?

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra may campaign during Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections along with Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav after playing a crucial role in forming SP-Congress alliance.
India TV Politics Desk New Delhi January 23, 2017 23:10 IST
India TV Politics Desk

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who played an active role in bringing the Congress and Samajwadi Party together for an alliance in Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, may campaign in the state along with Dimple Yadav, the wife of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. 

In previous elections, Priyanka has played crucial roles in managing Amethi and Rae Bareli Parliamentary seats represented by her brother Rahul Gandhi and mother Sonia respectively.

However, this time, after playing a crucial role in cobbling together an alliance with the SP, she has taken a centre-stage in Congress. 

The Congress party, which had lauded Priyanka Gandhi's role in forming an alliance with the ruling party, has been evasive about the part she could play in the party in future. 

But the party sources said that she could share stage with Dimple, with whom she has a good rapport. Sources said that even some Samajwadi Party leaders are enthusiastic about having Priyanka campaign in their constituencies.  

Some leaders of the Congress and the SP are claiming that Akhilesh and Rahul could do a joint rally during the UP campaign. 

Speech pointers of Dimple and Priyanka are being finalised. While Dimple will highlight clean image of her husband Akhilesh Yadav, the development work and schemes by state government, Priyanka will try to consolidate Congress voters with speeches focusing on women and farmers. 

Priyanka will undertake the responsibility to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Centre in her speeches, sources said. 

There has been widespread speculation about Priyanka assuming a larger role in the party, particularly after her mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi started not keeping well. 

However, officially, Congress has played down the role by Priyanka saying she was only following "instructions".

Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar said Priyanka was just following "instructions" from Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, "who can assign a role to any party worker". 

"Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been active in the two Parliamentary seats of Amethi and Rae Bareli purely out of her choice and we respect that. As far as UP elections are concerned, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi requested Ghulam Nabi Azad ji and Priyanka ji for sewing the alliance of progressive, like- minded parties," he said when asked about the role she played in bringing about the tie-up in UP. 

When asked about the role she could play in the state in future, the Congress leader said, "The workers of the Congress party and everybody else are desirous of Priyanka Gandhi playing a larger role. As and when that happens you will be duly informed." 

Ahmed Patel, political advisor to Sonia Gandhi, who acknowledged Priyanka’s role yesterday with a tweet, said that hopes she will campaign for the Congress outside Rae Bareli and Amethi.