Lok Sabha elections 2019: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, 47, has always confined her role in politics to the constituencies of her brother Rahul and mother Sonia Gandhi, Amethi and Raebareli, till now
After years of speculation, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the sister of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, has finally taken the plunge into active politics, months ahead of the national election due by May. Often dubbed the “Brahmastra” or the mythical ultimate weapon of the Congress, Priyanka Gandhi will debut as the party’s general secretary in charge of the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh from February 1.
“We are fired up and ready to go,” the Congress tweeted.
— Congress (@INCIndia) January 23, 2019
The 47-year-old who reminds many of her grandmother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi both for her charisma and the stunning likeness, has confined herself to the constituencies of her brother Rahul and mother Sonia Gandhi – Amethi and Raebareli – till now. In national and state elections since 2004, the mother of two has campaigned in the family seats where the Gandhis enjoy almost royal status.
Her appointment to a key position reflects the Congress’s realisation that in a politically vital state like Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 parliamentary seats and is considered the route to power at the centre, the party cannot afford just one in-charge. It also shows that the Congress leadership is keen on aggressively taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling BJP.
The Congress dropped the Priyanka Gandhi bombshell in a press statement that also announced that Jyotiraditya Scindia will be in charge of western UP. The announcement came as Rahul Gandhi began a two-day visit to Amethi.
Congress leaders say Priyanka Gandhi’s plunge into active party politics will galvanise the ranks, which have been demoralised by the Mayawati-Akhilesh Yadav move to form an alliance without the Congress.
The BJP has been repeatedly targeting Priyanka Gandhi’s husband Robert Vadra, a businessman being investigated for corrupt land deals in Haryana and Rajasthan. Robert Vadra congratulated his wife in a Facebook post: “Congratulations P… always by your side in every phase of your life.”
The BJP shrugged off the mega political development. “Rahul Gandhi failed so they need Priyanka as a crutch. Can’t they find anyone beyond that family,” sneered BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, speaking to reporters.