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Priyanka to begin her new innings on February 11



Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will arrive here Monday on a four-day visit, her first trip to the state after being appointed the Congress general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi and general secretary in charge of western Uttar Pradesh, Jyotiraditya Scindia, will accompany her on the February 11 visit to the state capital, party spokesperson Anshu Awasthi said on Thursday.

Preparations are on in the party to accord a big welcome to the three leaders, who will be brought from the airport to the state party office in a roadshow.

Rahul Gandhi is likely to return the same day, but Priyanka Gandhi will stay on in Lucknow till Thursday, meeting office bearers and party workers, Awasthi said.

Workers representing the party’s district and city units will meet her, a party leader said.

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 her first public appearance after formally joining the party. The Congress in Uttar Pradesh is seeing the visit by her and Scindia as the virtual launch of the Congress campaign in the crucial state for the coming Lok Sabha elections.

The two newly appointed in-charges for Uttar Pradesh will take stock of the party’s preparation for the polls.

“The impending visit by the senior leaders, especially Priyanka Gandhi, has enthused party workers,” Awasthi 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.

Amethi and Rae Bareli, the Lok Sabha seats held by her brother Rahul Gandhi and mother Sonia Gandhi, are in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Varanasi constituency and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s stronghold Gorakhpur are also part of this region, under Priyanka Gandhi’s charge.

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