JDU leader and noted election strategist Prashant Kishor said the Congress in-charge in Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, will not impact the upcoming Lok Sabha election. She might emerge as a challenge for political parties, in the long run, he predicted.
"Nobody has a magic wand. I do not think she will be able to turn things around for the Congress in the two-three months that are left for the Lok Sabha polls," Mr Kishor, who worked for the Congress before joining Nitish Kumar's JDU, was quoted by PTI as saying.
"But she is a big name and a popular face. In the long run, yes she would emerge as a challenge (to the NDA)," Mr Kishor told reporters.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who had maintained a low profile, last month took a plunge in active politics. Congress president Rahul Gandhi appointed her joint in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, along with Madhya Pradesh stalwart Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Today, she took part in a road show in the state's capital. She, along with her brother and Congress president Rahul Gandhi and fellow UP in-charge Jyotiraditya Scindia waved at hundreds of supporters from the top of a modified truck that was decorated in party colours.
Later, Rahul Gandhi made clear the task cut-out for his sister and Mr Scindia-- a good performance in Lok Sabha elections and the party's revival in assembly polls.
"Priyanka and Scindia-Ji will work for the Lok Sabha election but their mission goes beyond that to the assembly polls. We will not relent until we establish a Congress government in UP," Mr Gandhi said.
The Congress that once ruled the state has been out of power in Uttar Pradesh for decades now. The party aligned with Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party in 2017 assembly polls, but it was completely decimated as BJP scored a landslide win.
The party had been in talks with Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati for an alliance in Uttar Pradesh for the upcoming general elections, but was snubbed. The party later announced it will contest polls on all 80 seats in the state.
"I respect Akhilesh-Ji and Mayawati-Ji, but we will fight an election with all our strength," Mr Gandhi said today.
The Lok Sabha elections are due by May this year.
(With inputs from PTI)