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Priyanka Gandhi begins door-to-door campaign in Noida from Kali Mata Mandir, expresses confidence in defeating BJP

Noida (Uttar Pradesh) : Hitting the ground for the first time in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh since the imposition of ban on physical rallies, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday kickstarted her door-to-door campaign in the Noida Assembly constituency from city's Kali Mata Mandir and said that the party candidate Pankuri Pathak will defeat sitting MLA Pankaj Singh, son of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Priyanka Gandhi beginning her campaign with the temple in Noida is seen as a direct competition to the BJP as the latter has fielded Singh once again from the constituency. The temple is located at Sector 26 in Noida and is said to be 40-years-old with more than 2,500 listed members. There are more than three lakh Bengali-speaking voters in the constituency, it is likely that to get her message across to the lakhs of Bengali voters in the city, the Congress leader began by offering prayers in the temple and then kick-started her campaign. Speaking to ANI, during her campaign for Pathak in the city, Priyanka Gandhi termed the Congress candidate "daughter of the city" and expressed confidence in her defeating son of the Defence Minister. "Yes, I went to the temple, spoke to the people. Congress has fielded Pankhuri Pathak in this election. She is a daughter of the city who is connected with the people. Sitting MLA Pankaj Singh is never seen in his constituency. Only his posters are seen. There are problems in front of the people and Congress wants to solve them. Pankhuri Pathak will defeat sitting MLA Pankaj Singh in the elections," she said.Congress has repeatedly raised the issue of unemployment in the state and surrounded the Yogi Adityanath government on the matter. Highlighting the issue once again, Priyanka Gandhi reiterated that Congress is reaching out to the youth and telling them how the party, once comes to power, will give them employment. "Giving employment to the youth is the biggest issue. Congress is reaching out to the youth and telling them how we can give them employment," she said. The Congress general secretary also hit out at Yogi Adityanath for his 80 versus 20 remark and said that only the politicians benefit from such remarks. "BJP talks about 80 versus 20 per cent. Such slogans only benefit the political parties and politicians. The people are not benefitted from these slogans. Therefore, the Congress party is in the electoral fray with the help of a manifesto based on youth," she said. According to sources, an aggressive campaign strategy has been made by Congress for the first phase of polls in UP. The party's star campaigners Sachin Pilot, Bhupesh Baghel are among others who are on the ground to campaign for the elections. For Priyanka Gandhi, door-to-door campaigns and virtual rallies have been scheduled as a part of the election campaign. In Uttar Pradesh, the first phase polling will be held on February 10, the second phase on February 14, the third phase on February 20, the fourth phase on February 23, the fifth phase on February 27, the sixth phase on March 3 and the seventh phase on March 7. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.

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