Congress President Rahul Gandhi will meet party general secretaries including newly inducted Priyanka Gandhi on Thursday followed by a meeting of state party chiefs on Saturday to chalk out the roadmap and strategies for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Priyanka Gandhi, who has been appointed as General Secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh (East), met brother Rahul Gandhi after her return to India on Monday.
Besides the Gandhis, the meeting was also attended by Jyotiraditya Scindia, who has been given charge of west Uttar Pradesh. The three leaders discussed the plan of action for Uttar Pradesh, a state which is core to the Congress' Lok Sabha goals. According to party sources, after meeting with the party general secretaries Gandhi will hold talks with state chiefs and other office bearers where plans and approach for the Lok Sabha polls for respective states will be chalked out.
These will then be finalised at the at the Congress Working Committee meeting slated later in February. While the Congress has been harping on the need for a grand alliance of opposition parties to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), any such formal tie-up is yet to materialise. The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Akhilesh Yadav headed Samajwadi Party (SP) have already announced their alliance snubbing the Congress.
However, the party is still hopeful of a post-poll alliance with the SP-BSP combine and Uttar Pradesh will be high on the agenda in both the meetings. Besides the SP-BSP combine, the Congress is also trying to woo the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress which too has appeared unwilling for any tie-up in West Bengal. "Both the SP-BSP and the Trinamool will have a key role to play in government formation. But our first aim is to contest as many seats as possible in both UP and Bengal," said a party leader.
(With inputs from agencies.)