Congress president Sonia Gandhi is suffering from illness since the Varanasi rally and meanwhile her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has emerged as a leader of the party's campaign for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.
A source said that her tuning with brother and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi helped Priyanka ease into the new role. Confirming the news, a senior leader in Congress told media that the party had prepared a list of 80 candidates for the polls and most of them were cleared by Priyanka.
Sources also said that the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) is working hard to ensure that Priyanka start the campaign trail by October. This is something which many leaders and volunteers of the party have wanted for long.
"After the road show in Varanasi, Sonia madam has not been in the best of health. In the meantime, Priyanka has taken charge of the UP campaign. She has emerged as a true leader while her mother took ill, ensuring that the party's confidence remains high," said the senior party functionary on condition of anonymity.
“We are in the process of finalizing the first list. The total number of candidates in the final list may go up to 100. Priyanka has handpicked almost all of them. Nearly all sitting MLAs have been given a ticket again,” the source said.
Most constituencies in the first list are seen as safe seats. These include seats in districts like Saharanpur and Hapur. According to the source, the list will be out by the end of August.