`Waqt hai badlaav ka’ – reads the big hoarding outside Congress office with smiling faces of Congress President Rahul Gandhi and national general secretary Priyanka Gandhi hinting at the change the Uttar Pradesh politics is likely to witness. Another hoarding tells who would be heralding this change: `Badlaav ki aandhi, Rahul sang Priyanka Gandhi”.
Lucknow is all decked up for Priyanka’s first visit to the city as the national general secretary of the party on Monday. The excitement is palpable not only in Nehru Bhawan – the headquarters of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee – but also among common people who got hooked to the `badlaav’ through an audio message of Priyanka circulated by her party through WhatsApp.
“This message is impressive which talks about building a new future. I am excited about Priyanka Gandhi’s visit to Lucknow,” Vasundhara Sharma, a B Sc Student in IT college and first- time voter said. “She has made a good beginning by connecting with the people particularly the youth and am sure she will do well,” Vasundhara added.
On Monday, as the sun tries to warm up the otherwise cold morning in Lucknow, the discussions hover around Priyanka’s entry into politics and her visit to Lucknow. Everyone, right from the morning walkers to the roadside tea vendors, all agree that the road show which Priyana will partake with Rahul Gandhi will be a grand success. “This goes without saying that Priyanka’s entry has changed the political discourse. The Congress which was earlier looked down with disdain in Uttar Pradesh is now back in reckoning and if it plays its cards well, the party can win not less than 20 seats in this Lok Sabha election,” Rajesh Puri, a trader by profession said at Swarna Jayanti Park.
Last time Puri had voted for BJP and this time he will vote for another party which even could be Congress.
This park is around 25 kms away from Nehru Bhawan but the excitement among people can be felt here too. Deepak, who sells tea outside the park, said that everyone is now talking about Priyanka and how she can turn the Congress into a winning force. “Kuch badlaav to zaroor hoga iss baar,” he said.
Meanwhile hoarding and banners of the Congress leaders have been put up on the way from the airport and the Congress office. Rahul and Priyanka will be received at 37 points and they are also likely to address a small meeting at Lalbagh.