Priyanka Gandhi Enters Politics
A scion of India’s most famous political dynasty on Wednesday formally entered politics, with the opposition Congress party assigning her a position as it prepares for national elections due before May.
Her entry into active politics is aimed at galvanizing the party workers, who were apprehensive following the SP-BSP alliance.
Priyanka, 47, has long been considered Congress’ ‘brahmastra’ – the ultimate weapon – and her formal entry into politics much awaited.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi welcomed the entry of her sister Priyanka Gandhi into politics. Rahul said the BJP was worried that Priyanka Gandhi had joined politics ahead of the general elections. "I am happy my sister will work with me," Rahul Gandhi told reporters soon after Congress' announcement that Priyanka Gandhi would be the new AICC General Secretary for Eastern Uttar Pradesh. She will take charge during the first week of February 2019.
She is the last one in the fourth generation of the Nehru-Gandhi family, after her brother Rahul Gandhi and cousin Varun Gandhi, to step into the political arena. Many in the Congress party had wanted Priyanka to join politics and her entry could boost the morale of the party workers.
East UP has not been a Congress stronghold with Prime Minister Narendra Modi being elected from Varanasi and Gorakhpur considered chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s bastion even though the BJP lost the seat in by-elections. Priyanka has been campaigning in the region during earlier elections but restricting herself to family-held constituencies of Amethi and Rae Bareli. Congressmen say that she is likely to spend a considerable time in Varanasi and Gorakhpur, prepping up party workers and campaigning extensively.
By fielding Priyanka, Congress has shown that it is in the race for UP and it is not backing off. UP is the most crucial state politically with the maximum number of 80 Lok Sabha seats. BJP had won 71 seats in 2014 and its tally was 73 with two seats of ally Apna Dal. Even in the forthcoming elections, UP is likely to remain at the center stage of political theatrics. With the entry of Priyanka, the fight just became more interesting.