Congress leaders in Rae Bareli alleged "mischief" by some elements Monday after posters of "missing Priyanka" were found pasted at several places.
Posters of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, sister of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who had actively campaigned for her mother, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, were seen in the city with "Madam Priyanka missing" and "Emotional blackmailer" written on them, along with much else. Sonia Gandhi represents Rae Bareli in the Lok Sabha.
The poster, which is in Hindi, contains an attempt to rhyme, and speaks of incidents that have occurred in the constitutency, such as the Harchandpur rail tragedy, bemoaning Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's purported absence through them all. It then also highlights her absence during recent festivals, before a communal conclusion which isn't reproduced here.
District Congress spokesperson Lal Ashakiran Pratap Singh said it was an act of "mischievous elements", who wanted to create disturbance. The Gandhi family remained in the hearts of the people here and the members of the family had always stood behind them, he added.
Rae Bareli, which is a Lok Sabha constituency in central Uttar Pradesh, has been held by Sonia Gandhi since 1999. Even in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when the BJP won 71 out of 80 seats in a stunning result that played a key role in their overall success and in Narendra Modi becoming Prime Minister with the biggest mandate for decades, Rae Bareli was one of only two seats that the Congress managed to retain. The other seat was Rahul Gandhi's Amethi, but in his case, there was competition, with BJP candidate Smriti Irani. In Rae Bareli, however, Sonia Gandhi bagged a comfortable win, defeating BJP candidate Ajay Agarwal by a total of 5,26,434 votes to 1,73,721.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, meanwhile played a part in some of the rallying during the Congress' ill-fated 2016 Uttar Pradesh election campaign, but was largely absent in subsequent campaigns, finally making an appearance during the campaigning in Karnataka accompanying her mother for during her sole speech.
(With PTI inputs)