Lucknow, Jan 29: With possibility of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the newly appointed AICC General secretary Incharge of Uttar Pradesh east along with party president and her brother Rahul Gandhi, besides AICC general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia attending the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj next month, the Uttar Pradesh Congress headquarters Nehru Bhawan, in Lucknow is being decked up and refurbished ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and the visit of the leaders next week.
The UPCC office in Allahabad, the erstwhile home of Nehru family, is also being revamped ahead of Priyanka Gandhi’s visit. Priyanka Gandhi, along with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and AICC General Secretary for West UP Jyotiraditya Schindhia, is likely to visit UPCC’s Lucknow office in the first week of February to formalise the Congress strategy and to monitor the poll preparedness of the Congress party. Priyanka Gandhi is also expected to visit Kumbh in Allahabad on February 7.
Announcement of Priyanka Gandhi’s entry in active politics seems to have flushed the Congress office with new life, which wore a deserted look after party’s poor performance in UP Assembly elections in 2017. Though there is an speculation that Priyanka could address a press conference in Lucknow on February 4 or any day thereafter, but the officials maintained that the date would be announced once the new AICC general secretary returns back from USA.
"Priyanka is slated to return back from USA on Wednesday night and then only a decision would be taken on her maiden visit to UP after being appointed as the AICC," the leader told UNI here on Tuesday. Earlier, Congress was slated to launch the election campaign in UP by holding a massive rally in Lucknow on February 10. " But now it has also been put on hold after the scenario changed after the entry of Priyanka," the leader further said.
The UP state Congress had booked Rama Bai maiden for Rahul Gandhi's rally on February 10, which is an auspicious Basant Panchami, but even after getting the permission from the authority, the party is yet to deposit the fee charged for its use.
But on the other hand, Priyanaka has been allotted the same room at the Lucknow office which once belonged to her grandmother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.Her father late Rajiv Gandhi too used that room when he visited the Nehru Bhawan. The room is getting final touches and has been overhauled as per the Vastu Shastra. The interiors have been reworked and painted afresh to welcome its new occupant Priyanka Gandhi, sources here said.
The Nehru Bhawan, spread on 80,000 square feet, was inaugurated on December 3, 1979 by the then AICC chief Indira Gandhi, after the property was bought in auction. The property originally belonged to a business family and was auctioned by the revenue department owing to some debts. The building was bought by the then state Congress chief Mohsina Kidwai.
Whenever in Lucknow, Indira Gandhi would operate from the room which is now being renovated for Priyanka Gandhi. Rajiv Gandhi used to visit to the UPCC’s Lucknow office. In fact, days before his assassination in 1991, Rajiv Gandhi had visited the Lucknow office while returning from his parliamentary constituency Amethi.
UPCC spokesperson Anshu Awasthi said, “The renovation work was being done for the last four months and everything is in final stages. The entire office is being renovated ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls. A war-room is being set up to monitor all the election related work. Senior Congress leaders, including UPCC Chief Raj Babbar ji, will be monitoring poll related work from UPCC war-room in Lucknow. As Priyanka Gandhi Ji is the General Secretary for UP East now, it is obvious that she will also be handling much of her work from this office.” (UNI)