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After Advani, is it now Priyanka's turn?

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
Last updated on: March 29, 2004 13:13 IST
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The Congress party plans to pay back the Bharatiya Janata Party in the same coin -- through a rath yatra.

Sources told that Priyanka Vadra, Congress president Sonia Gandhi's daughter, will lead the yatra.

The yatra will travel from Hardwar to Rae Bareli. The dates for the yatra have not been decided yet.

The rath is being created at the Lodhi Estate home of former Congress MP Akhilesh Das in New Delhi. Das is the son of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Banarasi Das.

The rath -- called Sonia Sankalp Rath -- is painted in Congress colours. One side of this bus has huge portraits of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajeev Gandhi. The other side adorns pictures of Bhimrao Ambedkar, Banarsi Das and Rafi Ahmed Kidwai.

The vehicle is fitted with a public address system, a dais on the roof and a dish antenna.

Sources said Akhilesh Das mooted the idea of the yatra to Sonia Gandhi a couple of weeks ago. Sonia gave the go ahead last week.

Congress Media Secretary Tom Vaddakan told he had heard that Priyanka would embark on a yatra, but refused to confirm or deny the information.

From Hardwar, the rath will travel through Saharanpur, Muzzaffarpur, Meerut, Bulandshahr, Khurja, Aligarh, Hathras, Etah, Agra, Etawah, Kanpur, Allahabad and Amethi before arriving at Rae Bareli.

Priyanka's brother Rahul is contesting the Amethi Lok Sabha seat while her mother is the Congress nominee from Rae Bareli.


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Onkar Singh in New Delhi