Leaving Amethi after a high voltage visit and big announcement on Priyanka Gandhi Vadra joining politics, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi assured the people that they now have not one or two, but three "sipahi (soldiers)" working for them across the country. The Congress, he said, will form the next government in the Uttar Pradesh.
"We will contest the Lok Sabha polls with full strength and will win the next UP Assembly polls," said the Congress chief, who yesterday declared the party will not play "on the backfoot" anywhere.
Slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said PM Modi has waived only industrialists' loans. "The chowkidar (guard) proved to be a thief," he said.
"So how did the chowkidar prove to be chor (thief) in these 4 years?" he questioned. Then, in the backdrop of much slogan shouting, he added, "You keep one thing in mind and never forget it. You have a soldier - no, not one, but two now. Your two soldiers. Actually there are three. Your three soldiers are working for you across the country".
Yesterday, Mr Gandhi had created waves with a surprise announcement that his younger sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, whose entry to politics was long anticipated by the party, was finally making her debut as the general secretary for the party in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP had hit back, commenting that the entry of another member of the family into politics was not exactly news. Without referring to the matter directly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in his party, the BJP, "decisions are not taken on the wishes of one family... In our party, decisions are taken on basis of what party workers want," he said.
PM Modi's constituency, Varanasi, lies in eastern Uttar Pradesh, which will be under Priyanka Gandhi's watch. So will be Gorakhpur, the home turf of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
In Varanasi, posters have come up, urging Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to contest against the Prime Minister. "Kashi Ki Janta Kare Pukar, Priyanka Gandhi Ho Sansad Hamar. (The people of Varanasi want Priyanka Gandhi to be our parliamentarian)... We want Priyanka," the posters read.
The local unit of the Congress said pitting her against the Prime Minister will galvanise voters of UP and its neighbouring states.