This Article is From Feb 28, 2017

Priyanka Gandhi Won't Be Campaigning In UP Elections, Top Congress Strategist Tells NDTV

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has taken up the task of election management, Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

Lucknow: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the Congress' star campaigner "will not be campaigning" any more for the party in the ongoing UP elections, according to Ghulam Nabi Azad, the party's point man for Uttar Pradesh.

Mr Azad told NDTV in an exclusive interview in Benares that Priyanka, who made a brief appearance at the Gandhi family borough of Rae Bareilly, has taken over the role of election management, and has no time to campaign.

Mr Azad also said that because of poor health, Congress President Sonia Gandhi will not be campaigning in the elections.

When asked what ailed Mrs Gandhi, he said it was "not serious".

The Congress President recently posted a video message to voters in UP, saying, "Once again the entire country is looking up to you. You all have always supported me. In this election too, you have to vote for the Congress candidates and ensure their overwhelming victory so that they reach Vidhan Sabha. I urge you to vote for Congress and support my resolution and sentiment," Ms. Gandhi said.

Mr Azad also denied suggestions that Rahul Gandhi is second fiddle to Akhilesh Yadav, UP chief minister and head of their alliance partner, the Samajwadi Party.

The SP is fighting close to 300 seats, conceding just over 100 seats to the Congress.

"No one is second fiddle," he said. "Everywhere they (Rahul and Akhilesh) go they go together".

When asked why the Congress had clinched the alliance given its ambitions for Uttar Pradesh, he said the party didn't want to contest all the seats "just for the heck of it and land up in opposition."

"We wanted to be players", he said.