UP elections: Priyanka Gandhi will not campaign further, says Congress

Priyanka Gandhi. Photograph:( AFP )

New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 28, 2017, 12.45 PM (IST)

Congress' Priyanka Gandhi will not be campaigning in Uttar Pradesh anymore, a senior party member told NDTV.

Ghulam Nabi Azad said she will spend her time overseeing the party's election campaign in India's most populous state.

Priyanka has largely remained absent from this year's campaigning in India's northern state of UP.

She briefly visited the Gandhis' borough of Raebareli earlier following incessant demands made by party workers. Party workers were vexed about their pre-poll partners Samajwadi Party's decision to campaign in the Gandhi stronghold.

The party's decision to keep Priyanka away from the limelight might also be due to the party's apprehension of over-exposing her, like they did in 2012.

“It (over-exposure in the previous elections) was an excess from our part. We don’t want Priyanka Gandhi to do an aggressive campaign in the constituency. She is our senior leader,” Kishori Lal, a close aide of the Gandhi family, had told WION. 

Speaking to NDTV, Azad also downplayed suggestions that their party leader Rahul Gandhi was playing second fiddle to Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.

"No-one is second fiddle. Everywhere they (Rahul and Akhilesh) go, they go together," he said.

If Uttar Pradesh -- a state in North India -- was a country, it would be the largest elections conducted across the world this year. The state is home to 204.2 million people and is nearly twice the size of England.

The state has been in the throes of a long, heated election campaign.

Polling in the state started on February 11 and will be conducted on seven different dates until March 8. The election result will be announced on March 11.