With Cong facing crisis of survival, Priyanka emerges from shadows

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Priyanka Gandhi Shailendra Pandey/Tehelka

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra may, in all likelihood, plunge into the world of electoral politics in the 2019 general elections from Amethi.

Regarded as the last Congress leader (Gandhi), she will be seen campaigning across Uttar Pradesh in coming assembly polls, according to News 18.

Priyanka, 44, who has till now nurtured Amethi and Rae Bareli constituencies represented by Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, has refused to accept entreaties by Congress leaders and workers over the years to lead the party.

With the Congress facing a crisis of survival, Priyanka has decided to take on an active political role. Part of her decision is also personal. The BJP’s continuous attacks on Robert Vadra accusing him of financial wrongdoings have forced her hand.

A more active role by Priyanka, party sources said, will help cement the family’s dominance in the Congress and energise the rank and file, most of whom have faith in her belligerence than Rahul. Her similarity to late Congress icon Indira Gandhi is another big asset.

The thinking now is that Priyanka— Rahul may be shifted to Rae Bareli—could contest from Amethi constituency. It is felt that she would be better poised to take on the BJP’s likely candidate HRD minister Smriti Irani. Between the Gandhi siblings, Priyanka was always combative, a trait that will come in handy while taking on Irani. Also, having a woman take on another will spare Rahul the risk of getting caught up in a campaign in which he will have to tread carefully, as per News 18.

Several options are presently being worked out for Priyanka. One option is to use her for campaigning across UP. In fact, Prashant Kishor, the master poll strategist has suggested Priyanka be projected as the party’s face in UP.