New Delhi: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was in Varanasi to campaign for the last leg of Uttar Pradesh elections, exuded confidence that the party is in the fray in the state. “You can see the crowd and the enthusiasm among the people,” she told India Ahead as the state went to polls in the sixth phase on Thursday. All eyes are on the electoral battle in and around Varanasi which will see Prime Minister Narendra Modi and prominent leaders from opposition parties compete for votes.
Talking about the party’s pre-poll preparations and efforts in campaigning, Priyanka Gandhi said, “I am very proud of my party and the workers and the people standing for election because for the first time in many many years, we are contesting on 100 seats and we have worked very hard to build our organisation up to this point. And we have been able to give the best fight that we could.”
On being asked how big a player Congress is in Uttar Pradesh, she said, “That only public can tell and we’ll know only after March 10. But our intention really was to give it the best we had and to fight on as many seats as we could. And I think we successfully done that.”
“We have also been successful in bringing women to the forefront,” she said. Congress has kept the issue of women empowerment at the Centre of its agenda and fulfilled its promise of giving 40 per cent of its tickets to women candidates.
As the high-octane Uttar Pradesh polls enter the final leg, Varanasi will see Prime Minister Narendra Modi and prominent leaders from opposition parties leading their campaigns. Modi, who has been criss-crossing the state all along in the seven-phase Uttar Pradesh elections, will lead the poll blitzkrieg in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi for two days on March 4 and 5.
Voting for the seventh and final round will be held on March 7 for Varanasi and its eight adjoining districts.