Azad hopes Priyanka campaigns outside Amethi, Rae Bareli

New Delhi, June 15 (IANS) Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was recently appointed party incharge of Uttar Pradesh, on Wednesday said that he hoped party chief Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra would campaign outside family bastions Amethi and Rae Bareli for the assembly polls next year.

Interacting with media persons ahead of his two-day visit to the state from Thursday to work out the party’s action plan for the 2017 assembly elections, Azad, asked if Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is likely to be projected as a chief ministerial face of the Congress, said: “Priyanka ji is already playing a key role in Rae Bareli and Amethi.

“I hope she will definitely campaign in some other places as per time available to her. There have been such demands from our cadres in the state but the party will take a decision at the right time.”

He said Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi was taking key decisions regarding Uttar Pradesh after consulting all seniors party leaders.

Azad said he will meet office-bearers of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee, and chiefs of its frontal organisations such as the Mahila Congress and the Youth Congress.

He will also meet All India Congress Committee members from the state, sitting and former MPs, legislators, district Congress chiefs, spokespersons and other prominent leaders at the Gandhi auditorium in Lucknow on Thursday.

“I will meet them collectively and in sessions to hear their views, take inputs to evolve an action plan for the assembly elections,” Azad said.

“Our first preference is to strengthen the party structure in the state so that we can win maximum number of assembly seats,” he said.

The former union minister also hinted at a reshuffle in the party’s state unit.

Azad said he will have one-to-one session with party leaders on Friday to know their opinion on “what direction the party should take for its campaign”.

Azad, who is also Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, said the Bharatiya Janata Party is running a thoroughly divisive campaign in the run-up to the assembly elections.

“The British were (earlier) dividing us in the name of Hindu and Muslim; and now the BJP is doing it,” Azad remarked while referring to alleged migration from the state’s Kairana town finding a mention at the BJP’s national executive meeting.

–IANS

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