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2019 Will be Modi vs Rahul: Priyanka Gandhi Makes a 5am Prediction After 16 Hours on Job

Sending a strong message to the rivals, Gandhi held marathon strategy session, which continued till 5:30 am on Wednesday. She met workers from over 10 constituencies, spending more than an hour with each of them

Zeba Warsi | CNN-News18

Updated:February 13, 2019, 9:48 AM IST
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Lucknow: A day after making her debut in Uttar Pradesh's political arena as Congress's general secretary, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra got down to business, meeting leaders from different constituencies for over 16 hours.

Sending a strong message to the rivals, Gandhi held marathon strategy session, which continued till 5:30 am on Wednesday. She met workers from over 10 constituencies, spending more than an hour with each of them.

Confident of party's victory, Congress's general secretary told News18 that 2019 would essentially be a Modi versus Rahul battle this year.

Immediately after reaching the party office on Tuesday, she was closeted with senior leaders and office bearers of Lucknow, Unnao, Mohanlalganj, Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh, Prayagraj, Ambedkar Nagar, Sitapur, Kaushambi, Fatehpur, Bahraich, Phulpur and Ayodhya Lok Sabha constituencies to galvanise the party's preparations for the Lok Sabha elections.

In her first comments to karyakartas (workers), UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's daughter urged them to stay united and say no to infighting. "Guthbaazi khatam karo (end groupism)," Priyanka told the local leaders.

The leader held meetings till wee hours on Wednesday with 10-20 people each from these constituencies to gauge the situation on the ground. She met 70 people from Lucknow, which was the highest number, party sources said. Gandhi also advised members to unite and unilaterally support a candidate that has been chosen for a constituency, no matter who it is.

When CNN-News18 asked her about her marathon strategy session, she said, "I'm learning a lot about the organisation, how it is structured and the changes to be made in the road ahead. Also, I'm getting their views on how to fight the upcoming parliamentary polls and win them."

A day earlier, Gandhi returned to the state capital after a short visit to Jaipur, where her husband Robert Vadra and his mother Maureen appeared before the ED in connection with a probe into an alleged land scam in Rajasthan's border town of Bikaner. As soon as she landed, she got cracking at the UP Congress headquarters.

When asked about the ongoing questioning of her husband, she said, "I'll keep doing my work. These things will keep happening, I’ll keep doing my thing."

Priyanka Gandhi's entry into active politics has been at a time when the party is not only witnessing one of the most difficult times electorally but has also been sidelined by prospective allies for 'mahagatbandhan', with the Samajwadi Party and BSP totally ignoring it while forming their alliance.

The Congress had fared miserably during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections by winning just two of 80 seats in the state.

The eastern UP, Priyanka Gandhi's area of responsibility, has Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency Varanasi. The region is also seen as a stronghold of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

On the day of her political debut in UP, Priyanka Gandhi also joined Twitter and garnered a massive response with tens of thousands following her on the social media platform within hours.

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| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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