Senior Congress leader Jitin Prasada on Saturday said while it has been a long-standing demand of party workers that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra be the party's face in the 2022 UP Assembly elections, it is a "strategic decision" to be taken by the "Congress Working Committee and Priyanka ji herself".
Mr Prasada, who is a special invitee to the Congress Working Committee (CWC) also said that the party will not be forging any alliance in the 2022 assembly elections.
On whether Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi would be the face of the party in 2022 elections, he told PTI, "That has been a long-standing demand of the workers, but, the decision is a strategic one which will be taken by the CWC and Priyanka ji herself."
Accusing the UP government of "headline management, the former Union minister also asked why was it that most of the victims of crimes were Brahmins.
"The issues which are being raked up are not the real issues. The state government is only doing headline management. I have talked about Brahmin killings. Why is that most of the victims (of crimes) are Brahmins? What is the intention of the state government," he asked.
"The Vikas Dubey encounter on face of it looks fake and the intention of the government is suspicious. We (Congress) have already demanded a SC-monitored inquiry. Who allowed Vikas Dubey to become such a big (criminal)? This has now been brushed under the carpet," he said.
He also said that under the Brahmin Chetna Parishad, the party was holding virtual meetings with members of the community in Pilibhit, Jhansi, Ayodhya, Etawah, Meerut, Basti and Badaun.
Mr Prasada refused to comment on the party's prevailing situation in Rajasthan. On July 14, he had tweeted about his "colleague and friend" Sachin Pilot, saying that no one can take away the fact that the former deputy chief minister had long worked with dedication for the Congress.
On Priyanka Gandhi being dubbed a Twitter leader by rivals, including the BJP, the 46-year-old former Lok Sabha MP from Dhaurahra said, "They have nothing else to say. Their performance is zero, and to hide it, they are saying such things."
Intensifying his attack on political rivals, Prasada said, "Whoever is saying such things should first disclose the performance of their department, and what they have done for the people of UP. Give a record of that."
He said they were elected to work for the people of Uttar Pradesh and their performance in sectors such as health, infrastructure or rural development.
"Tell us what you have done in these sectors...It (using such terminology) is to only divert the attention of people and their failures (of BJP)," the former Union minister said.
Referring to the work going on within the state Congress, he said, "The party is preparing and working to strengthen its organisation. Wherever the organisational fill-up is required down to booth level that is being prepared and it is the primary task. Organisational re-hauling of different frontal organisations of the party is also going on."
Asked whether the Congress was lagging behind the BJP in holding virtual meetings, Prasada said, "A virtual meeting group (of party leaders) has been formed, and meetings are being held regularly. Some strategy meetings too have been held virtually. A programme called ''kaise hain aap'', which was about talking to party workers, was started by me and now the party is doing it."
He said the party was interacting with people in every district and was gathering their views and seeking suggestions from them over the issues they are facing.
When asked that many party leaders were missing in action when UPCC chief Ajay Kumar Lallu was taking on the UP government and was sent to jail, Prasada said, "All action is not confined to Lucknow alone. Things happen in other districts of the state as well."
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)