By Anand Singh
Lucknow/Amethi: It was all dust and scorching heat for a Congress worker on Wednesday afternoon before party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra obliged him with an unexpected gesture — she joined him and his friend in a video chat on his mobile phone.
Priyanka had arrived in the morning at Lucknow’s Chaudhry Charan Singh airport to kick start campaign covering Amethi, Rae Bareli and Faizabad in UP when her cavalcade stopped on a busy road.
The Congress leader earlier completed a three-day river ride campaign, from Prayagraj to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi, on March 21.
Sensing an opportunity, a young party worker, who was on a video call with his friend, came close to her car requesting that she speak to his friend. And the Congress leader readily obliged.
She also posed with many school students for selfies on her way to Amethi, the parliamentary constituency of her brother and party President Rahul Gandhi.
The cavalcade made more than 16 stops between Lucknow and Amethi, with Priyanka sending her security staff into a tizzy several times when she stepped out of the car to meet people.
In Amethi, she met Mohammad Lalit, a cancer patient, and assured all help to his family.
Accompanied by party leaders Pramod Tiwari, P.L. Punia and his son Tanuj Punia, Priyanka, visiting Amethi for the first time after being appointed the party general secretary and eastern UP in-charge, received a rousing welcome everywhere.
There was some bitterness too as posters branding her a “visitor” and accusing her of neglecting Amethi were spotted in the constituency. The posters, which read “Dekha chunav, pehenli saree, nahi chalegi ye hoshiyari”, were put up under the name of Samajwadi Party leader Jai Pratap Singh Yadav.
However, Yadav denied putting up the posters and alleged it was the handiwork of some miscreants.
The SP-BSP-RLD alliance has not fielded any candidate in Amethi and Rae Bareli constituencies, the Gandhi family turfs.
The Congress, which won only two seats in the 2014 elections, is going it alone in the state this time.
(Anand Singh can be contacted at [email protected])