Lucknow: The time has come for Priyanka to appear on the screen and to play the chief role. After holding months of pondering over her role in the coming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress has decided to field Priyanka Vadra as the leader of its campaign in the State. The report further says that Priyanka will play a huge role in the elections. She had campaigned in the last election in her family’s constituencies of Rae Bareli and Amethi. This time, she is expected to lead the rallies across the state.
Congress has had a dismal performance in Uttar Pradesh so far. In the last assembly polls, Congress had won just 28 of the 403 seats in the state. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the party had secured only two seats in UP with only Sonia and Rahul emerging victorious.
With BJP pointing out that, “Congress is today like a sinking ship without a captain,” Firstpost’s Sandipan Sharma wrote, “For the Congress, Priyanka Gandhi is indeed an idea whose time has come. Whatever be the outcome of the expected ploy, it will immediately inject new life in the Congress veins. Its workers will get a sense of direction, the party a new face and voters the option of looking at a Rahul-mukt Congress. Comparisons with leaders of other parties can wait, but in a tossup between the Gandhi siblings, Priyanka is the clear winner.” Satya Dev Tripathi, the party spokesperson in Uttar Pradesh, told to the media that for the first time, Priyanka will move out of Rae Barelli and Amethi constituencies — where she has campaigned for Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in the past — and hold about 150 public meetings across the State. “It will be a mind blowing campaign,” said Tripathi, “From our calculations she will cover an average of 2.5 assembly constituencies in the next six months.”
Waiting for the return of its vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who is currently vacationing abroad, the party is planning to hold a convention in Lucknow in mid July, where Gandhi will launch the campaign and present Priyanka as its leader.
Reports about her projection as the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate kept pouring out after the Congress hired the poll strategist Prashant Kishor as its election campaign manager for Uttar Pradesh in February 2016. And his involvement is clearly visible in party’s strategies too.
In the last few weeks, the party has changed its strategy on dealing with BJP’s anti-Vadra rhetoric. Apart from distancing themselves from Mr. Vadra and describing him as a “private person,” the party leaders have started to defend him. A senior Congress leader told that Priyanka was in constant touch with Prashant Kishor and his team members. “She is even taking interest in discussing district level manifestos that are drafted by Prashant’s team,” the leader said. It seems Prashant Kishore boosted the whole party, spinning the election wheel, and the ultimate result is to be seen soon.