Lucknow, Dec 7 (IANS): The Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) plans to invite Rahul Gandhi, All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary (in charge UP) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge to lead the Parivartan Yatra to be taken out from Shakumbhari Devi, Saharanpur to Naimisharanya, Sitapur.
The Parivartan Yatra may be launched later this month and may continue for nearly 25 days to reach out to the people.
“We want Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi to visit Saharanpur for the launch of the Parivartan Yatra later this month,” said Imran Masood, a former MLA who had joined the SP before the 2022 Assembly elections.
He shifted to the BSP post 2022 elections and returned to the Congress following his expulsion from the BSP.
Though senior leaders assert that the yatra will connect with the people of all classes and communities, the origin and culmination points suggest the route has been worked out to give a Hindutva push to the programme.
After being launched in Saharanpur, the Parivartan Yatra will cover Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor, Amroha, Moradabad, Rampur, Bareilly, Shahjahanpur and Kheri before reaching Sitapur.
“We propose to connect with the people of all castes and communities. We will visit all the religious places on the way that may include the ‘dargah’ in Saharanpur, Bareilly and other places,” said UPCC general secretary Anil Yadav.
Yadav said, “We will invite all the senior leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge. We are giving final touches to the route of the yatra and names of leaders who may attend it .”
The Congress has been out of power in the state since 1989. Over the years, it has been making efforts to connect with different sections of society to win back its lost support base.
It recently launched Dalit Gaurav Samvad to woo the Dalits on the death anniversary of BSP founder Kanshi Ram on October 9. It has also undertaken programmes to woo the backward classes and the Muslims in recent months.
The party is a part of INDIA, a bloc of major opposition parties formed ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The Congress had entered an electoral alliance with the BSP and the Samajwadi Party respectively in 1996 and 2017 UP Assembly elections but the alliances did not benefit the Congress.
In 2017, the party contested 114 seats in alliance with the Samajwadi Party and won only seven Assembly seats. It secured 6.25 per cent of the votes polled and 22.09 per cent on the seats contested.
It got 6.36 per cent votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Its performance deteriorated further when the party did not have any alliance with the major political players in 2022. It won only two seats and secured 2.36 per cent votes in the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
UPCC president Ajay Rai said the party high command would take a call on the issue of alliance and seat sharing ahead of 2024 polls. He, however, confirmed that the state unit proposed to invite senior leaders for the yatra. “We are holding discussions and will come out with details about the leaders to be invited for the yatra,” said Rai.