Uttar Pradesh Congress is expected to get a new life in the state with Rahul Gandhi taking over the mantle of party presidentship from his mother Sonia Gandhi on December 11. After suffering numeorus electoral lows in recent years, including the last general and Assembly polls, Congress can now bank on Rahul Gandhi’s charisma to pull itself back in the state’s realpolitik. To mark the change of guard, senior Congress leaders are ready to hold a three-day celebration in Lucknow and other ccities of the state including Amethi and Rae Bareli from December 9. Incidentally, the day also marks the 71st birthday of present president Sonia Gandhi. The state Congress headquarters at Mall Avenue in Lucknow is being given a facelift and grand functions have been planned from December 9 to 11. The entire party office is being cleaned and painted while the Congress tri-colour have been put in all prominent places. Party vice-president Rahul Gandhi is expected to be declared president of Congress on December 11 which is the last date for withdrawal of candidature in organisation polls. Congress leader and spokesman Sanjay Bajpai said in Lucknow on Thursday that several programme would be organised to celebrate party president Sonia Gandhi’s birthday on December 9. “A cake weighing 71 kilograms will be cut and sweets and fruits would be distributed among the poor. Besides, blankets and other items will be also distributed to the poor later in the night,” he said. Similarly, the party is set for a big celebration on December 11, when Rahul Gandhi would be declared Congress president. “Besides bursting crackers, party workers will also distribute sweets among leaders, workers and other guests to celebrate the occasion,” Bajpai said.