Priyanka Gandhi holds roadshow to launch her political career

S M Krishna

A day before her maiden visit to Uttar Pradesh as the state's Congress General Secretary, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said that together with the people of the state she hopes to start a "new kind of politics" in which everyone will be a stakeholder.

Priyanka and elder brother Rahul Gandhi, the Congress president, waved at cheering supporters who chanted their names while dancing to drums.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi pulled a surprise last month by appointing his younger sister a party general secretary.

But a string of BJP defeats in state elections late previous year and rising discontent over a weak farm economy and lacklustre jobs growth have weakened Modi's position, which an increasingly aggressive Congress is looking to capitalize on.

This is not the first time that BJP leaders have courted controversy with their remarks on Priyanka Gandhi. "Come align with us and bring change to Uttar Pradesh". "They're definitely focused on the parliamentary election but the aim also is to form a government in the state".

Priyanka's appointment as the general secretary assumes significance as the Congress is desperately trying to revive itself in the Hindi-speaking state, which used to be its bastion till the mid-1980s.

Ahead of her debut, Priyanka said she hoped to usher in "new politics" in Uttar Pradesh, which Premier Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party won in 2014 national elections and again in state polls in 2017.

The profile photo of the official Twitter account of Priyanka has her in a maroon cotton sari with a three-fourth sleeved blouse while waving at the crowd.

Upon being asked about the possible impact of Priyanka's entry into active politics ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Dwivedi told media persons in Basti, "For me or the BJP, Priyanka Gandhi is not an issue".

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