Priyanka to kick off steamer poll campaign on Monday

Lucknow (IANS) With less than a month to go for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Congress General Secretary and eastern Uttar Pradesh in-charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will kick off a three-day poll campaign from her great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru's birthplace Prayagraj to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary constituency Varanasi by a steamer on March 18.

According to Congress leaders, during her three-day programme, she will cover a distance of over 140 km through four districts of the state -- Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad), Bhadohi, Mirzapur and Varanasi -- by steamer as well as car.

Priyanka's journey will commence from Prayagraj on Monday and conclude at Varanasi's Assi Ghat and Dashashwamedh ghat on Wednesday evening.

She will take the steamer ride from Chhatnag in Prayagraj on March 18 and en route meet elderly citizens of Dumduma in Prayagraj and the family members of Mahesh Raj Yadav, who was killed in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama on February 14 in a suicide bombing.

Priyanka Gandhi, who is considered as second most important face in Congress after her brother and party President Rahul Gandhi, will be back to her steamer ride from Rampur ghat in Bhadohi. From there, she will also visit Vindhyachal temple in Mirzapur and meet the carpet weavers before a night halt there.

She will commence her journey on Tuesday from Vindhyachal and visit the Dargah of Maulana Ismail Chisti in Bhadohi's Kantit area and interact with people there.

The Congress leader will then again be back to steamer ride from Mirzapur. She will interact with advocates at Kachahri Ghat in the district and then visit Bhatauli village and meet people there.

Thereafter, the newly-appointed General Secretary will reach Chandrika Devi temple and interact with people after offering her prayers there.

After leaving Chandrika Devi temple, Priyanka will reach Devri in Mirzapur and interact with local villagers there before arriving at Chunar for the night halt.

In the last leg of her three-day journey on Wednesday, she will visit via road Varanasi's Sheetla Mandir and meet women groups there.

From Sheetla temple, Priyanka will again take the steamer ride till Ramnagar and interact with the fishermen community there.

She will also visit the house of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in Varanasi's Ramnagar before arriving at Assi Ghat by the steamer. There she will interact with the local people, people from Jain communities and offer prayers at Vishwanath temple.

After performing rituals at the Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, she will again take the steamer ride to Dashashwamedh ghat.

After that, she will leave for the Congress office in Varanasi and interact with party workers during a Holi Milan programme.

She will then leave for Delhi on Wednesday evening from Varanasi airport.

The Congress is contesting the Lok Sabha polls alone in Uttar Pradesh which sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha. The Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal are contesting in alliance.

In 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ally Apna Dal had won 73 seats while the Congress had managed to win only two. The Samajwadi Party had won five seats and the BSP had drawn a blank in the state.

The Congress has to date announced 26 candidates for Uttar Pradesh. However, the party has not announced Priyanka's candidature. Her brother is contesting from Amethi, while her mother will contest from Rae Bareli seat.

The seven-phased Lok Sabha elections is scheduled from April 11 to May 19. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.

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