1. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to campaign only in Amethi, Rae Bareli say Congress sources

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to campaign only in Amethi, Rae Bareli say Congress sources

After the Congress joined hands with the Samajwadi Party, the party-workers were keen that Priyanka takes the centre stage this time but it now seems their wait will continue

By: | New Delhi | Published: January 24, 2017 9:56 PM
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra , Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress, Samajwadi Party, Uttar Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi , Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka lao Congress Bachao, Rae Bareli Priyanka Vadra role in the elections will remain limited as she would be campaigning only in the parliamentary constituencies of her mother Sonia Gandhi (Rae Bareli) and brother Rahul Gandhi (Amethi).(Reuters)

Having played a key role, along with senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, in sealing the alliance with the Samajwadi Party, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was expected to play a prominent role in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. Sources, however, suggest that her role in the elections will remain limited as she would be campaigning only in the parliamentary constituencies of her mother Sonia Gandhi (Rae Bareli) and brother Rahul Gandhi (Amethi) much like the previous years.

After the Congress joined hands with the Samajwadi Party, the party-workers were keen that Priyanka takes the centre stage this time but it now seems their wait will continue. The Congress, which reportedly submitted Priyanka’s name in the list that was given to the Election Commission at the start of the campaign, hasn’t made any changes to it.

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Sources said the Congress had made two campaign strategies – one based on alliance and the other in case of solo battle in the high-voltage polls. Initially, when former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit was declared the chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka was supposed to campaign in the entire state. A team had also been formed to ideate for her campaign.

The party leadership, however, realised that the only way to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was to cobble an alliance with the Samajwadi Party. Hence, the second strategy was adopted, according to which the Congress is not in favour of over-exposing Priyanka before the penultimate 2019 Lok Sabha battle. Priyanka’s role for now will be limited to strategising the election campaigns for the poll-bound states, selecting the candidates and keeping tab of Rahul Gandhi’s election campaign.

This political development comes after many senior leaders had expressed their desire that Priyanka should join mainsteam politics. A ‘Priyanka lao Congress Bachao’ campaign was also launched. Priyanka has so far not been very active in Indian politics and kept her responsibilities confined within the promotions and campaign.

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