Congress president Rahul Gandhi has made a big decision in the lead up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections by charging his newly-appointed and high-profile Uttar Pradesh Congress general secretaries with ticket distribution for India's most electorally significant state.
The relevant press release issued by the Congress party says:
Honourable Congress president Shri Rahul Gandhi has approved the following distribution of Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh among the AICC General Secretary UP East (who is Priyanka Gandhi Vadra) and AICC General Secretary UP West (who is Jyotiraditya Scindia)
Following that is a list that includes all 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress has played perhaps its bigest card with UP in mind, by finally appointing Priyanka Gandhi, who until now did have a major say in the Congress but only from behind the scenes. Rahul Gandhi's sister partook in her first major election campaign action on Monday as she rode on top of a 'rath' bus in a road-show in Lucknow.
The Congress is staring at a big fight in Uttar Pradesh, as there are three big contenders in the mix. The BJP won 71 of 80 seats in the 2014 elections, including in Varanasi where Narendra Modi contested. The same party also won by a landslide in the 2017 Assembly Elections after which Yogi Adityanath was appointed Chief Minister. The Samajwadi Party, which won 5 seats in the Lok Sabha in 2014 from UP had teamed up with arch-rival Bahujan Samaj Party led by Mayawati. The BSP won nothing in the 2014 elections and little more in the assembly polls. The alliance has been shown to be somewhat effective, however, winning key bypolls in the last year. The Congress, however, has been excluded from this alliance, though the SP-BSP combine did tip its hat to the grand old party by deciding to not field candidates for Rae Bareli and Amethi - Lok Sabha bastions of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi respectively - and the only seats the Congress won in 2014.