New Delhi: Toiling hard to register a thumping victory in the upcoming Assembly polls, Congress stalwarts in Uttar Pradesh are trying to encash the ‘Gandhi family’ factor for their kith and kin. For this, they have convinced party’s star campaigner Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to conduct campaigns even outside her family fiefdom, Amethi and Rae Bareli.

The veteran Congress leaders of the state have urged Priyanka Gandhi to share dais with her brother and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi in the rallies at Farrukhabad, Barabanki, Lucknow, Allahabad, Varanasi and Meerut.
Several candidates belonging to the family of Congress stalwarts including two Union Ministers are in the fray and are struggling hard to enter the Assembly.

Several senior leaders including Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid, Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma, Domariaganj MP Jagdambika Pal, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Rita Bahuguna Joshi are lobbying hard to convince Priyanka to address rallies to be held in their respective constituencies.

Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh is of the view that Priyanka should hold rallies outside her family fiefdom. Significantly his son-in-law Ratnakar Singh is also contesting the UP Assembly polls.

As per sources, Congress high command and Priyanka will leave no stone unturned to realize Rahul’s dream of ‘Mission Uttar Pradesh’.

In  this connection , Priyanka, on Tuesday  said that she will do anything for brother Rahul and hinted at campaigning even outside Amethi and Rae Bareli.

Priyanka’s statement made it clear that Rahul will only take every decision in the politically important state.

Sources said if the Congress really needs Priyanka for campaign, Rahul will hold discussion with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other senior leaders in this regard.

UPPCC believes that if the party adds 1-2 percent more vote share to the 8.47 percent it grabbed during the 2007 polls, the 2012 Assembly results will be in their favour.

Prominent leaders—their kith and kin

Salman Khurshid—Louise Khurshid (wife)

Beni Prasad Verma—Rakesh Verma (son)

Jagdambika Pal—Abhishek Singh (son)

Harshvardhan Singh—Rajyavardhan Singh (son)

Praveen Aron —Supriya Aron (wife)

Rashid Masood—Imran Masood (nephew)

JPN/Bureau