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Grand welcome awaits Priyanka Gandhi in Lucknow


Lucknow, The city of Nawabs as well as the Congress, Uttar Pradesh state headquarters 'Nehru Bhawan' are being decked up to give a grand welcome to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on her first visit to the state after becoming the AICC general secretary (UP East) on Monday. Ms Vadra would be accompanied by her brother and Congress president Rahul Gandhi and party general Secretary (UP West) Jyotiraditya Scindia on her Lucknow visit. Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the visit of the brother-sister duo of the Gandhi family, who have Special Protection Group cover. Party officials here on Saturday said that the leaders would reach Lucknow airport at around 1200 hours on Monday and thereafter, reach Nehru Bhawan by holding a roadshow through congested roads of the city, covering around 9 kms. Before reaching the state headquarters, the Congress leaders will garland the statues of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, architect of the Constitution Dr B R Ambedkar and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The roads have been decked up with hoardings of the Congress leaders with big photos of the Gandhi scions.The leaders would be welcomed by the city Congress at more than eight places during the roadshows, in which representatives from different communities and groups would be invited. UP Congress president Raj Babbar is also camping in the state capital for the past two days and on Saturday, held a meeting with the Lucknow district committee to review the preparation for the welcome of the leaders and the roadshow. "An advance team of AICC and Priyanka's office have also reached the state capital on Friday night to oversee the arrangements," sources said. The SPG team, led by a senior officer, is also slated to reach Lucknow on Saturday to coordinate with the state police on the security of the Gandhi scions during their roadshow. The SPG team has also inspected the Nehru Bhawan, where Ms Vadra would be holding meetings with the leaders during her four days stay. Meanwhile, the state officials are busy to invite the district-level leaders for a meeting with Ms Vadra during her visit to the state capital along with Mr Scindia.Sources said Ms Vadra would be interacting with party leaders of 42 Lok Sabha seats, under her juridication while rest 38 will be seen by Mr Scindia. "From each LS constituency, there would be around 20 senior Congress leaders to interact with Priyanka which includes sitting or former MPs or legislators, district and block presidents, officials of frontal organisations and the leaders wanting to contest the polls," another senior leader said. At present, the Congress leaders from 42 LS seats have been summoned to Lucknow to interact with Ms Vadra, but the meeting of the remaining 38 seats of west UP with Mr Scindia is still not decided. Sources said the meeting of Mr Scindia with 38 Lok Sabha leaders could be held in Agra next week.

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