Will Congress declare Priyanka UP CM candidate?

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LUCKNOW: Now that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is the AICC general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh and making her presence felt by hitting the ground frequently in the state, will she be formally anointed as the chief ministerial candidate of the party? There are strong voices emerging from within the state unit who are of the view that the Congress foundation day could be the right occasion for making a formal announcement.
Without making a direct comment in this regard, UPCC spokesperson Surendra Rajput said:”Under the leadership of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the party would launch a full-fledged campaign for 2022 assembly elections after two months.”
As the party high command is planning a grand celebration on its foundation day, with the main focus on Uttar Pradesh, the party is caught in a dilemma: whether to formally make her the CM candidate or keep using her as the star campaigner and the mentor of the party organisation. The demand to make her the CM choice, however, is getting stronger.
Despite the party’s decimation in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, in which Priyanka was made an office-bearer for the first time and was in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, there is no denying that her arrival has galvanised the party, says a political analyst.
She has constituted the UPCC, Youth Congress, Mahila Congress, all frontal organisations and district and city Congress committees in the past one year. Deviating from the past tradition, she has avoided having a jumbo-sized UPCC, preferring to have a lean and mean machinery comprising only 55 office-bearers, with an average age of 45-50 years.
Taking a leaf out of the late 70s revival plan of Sanjay Gandhi, who had raised an army of young leaders as Sanjay Singh, Arun Kumar Singh Munna, Nirmal Khatri and Harish Rawat at a time when the Congress was languishing out of power after the Emergency, Priyanka has given prominence to youth leaders, who have been groomed in the party’s ideology.
No wonder, the state Congress, under an energetic UPCC chief Ajay Kumar Lalloo, has been the most visible face on the ground, holding protest and challenging the government, be it the Sonbhadra massacre or Hathras alleged gang rape.
“By December end, we are confident of the constitution of the block, village and booth- level organisation of the party,” Rajput said.
Party insiders told TOI that a majority of leaders in Delhi are advocating for a formal anointment of Priyanka as the Congress CM candidate. The move has to be approved by the Gandhi family, which is weighing all pros and cons in this regard, they say.

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