Priyanka Gandhi Likely To Get Into Active Politics For The Congress Party
Is Priyanka Gandhi getting involved in active politics?:
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s entrée in politics on the eve of the Lok Sabha elections indirectly undermines the candidature of Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the Congress in the upcoming elections. While the fact remains that Congress needs an immediate wind in their political sails, senior Congress leaders have always deemphasized the probable participation of Priyanka Gandhi in electoral politics. However, it is beyond a shadow of doubt now that, Priyanka Gandhi, the charming daughter of Sonia Gandhi –the President of the Congress Party, has stepped up her schedule in an effort to help her brother Rahul Gandhi in the upcoming elections. Such efforts of Priyanka Gandhi might even take her out of Rae Bareli and Amethi, the Lok Sabha Constituencies of Sonia and and Rahul Gandhi respectively, and there is a possibility of Priyanka embarking on a nationwide campaign in the favor of the Congress Party in the upcoming elections. There also exists a possibility that, Priyanka might even replace Sonia Gandhi in the Rae Bareli constituency as a representative of the Congress Party and contest in the Lok Sabha polls.
Though consistently denied by the Congress leaders, reports seem to transpire incessantly indicating the bigger role that Priyanka might play in the upcoming elections. Such reports are further confirmed by the presence of Priyanka in party meetings of the senior Congress leaders, notably the last one held in the residence of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who, however, was not present in the meeting due to some pressing need that had taken him out of Delhi. The said meeting attended by senior Congress party leaders like Ahmed Patel (political secretary to the Congress President), All India Congress Committee Secretaries like Ajay Maken and Madhusudan Mistry and the Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh to name a few, was, as confirmed by the Party sources, essentially a discourse to decide the best possible computation of the blueprint of Rahul Gandhi’s Prime Ministerial candidature as well as the effective framing of the publicity campaigns, and the electoral strategies to be followed by the Party in the upcoming elections.
The inclusion of Priyanka Gandhi in such an important meet definitely underlines her pivotal role in the coming elections, despite the strenuous denial of the Party leaders. Inflation and corruption issues also featured as important points in the dissertations of the said meeting as such factors had taken a heavy toll on the Congress – led UPA II Government and were also some of the instrumental factors behind the crushing defeat of the Congress in the last assembly elections of 2013. While the official connotations of the meeting were one of discussions of the electoral itinerary of Rahul and Sonia Gandhi for the campaigning schedules, Congress Party sources had insisted that there is nothing exceptional about such meetings with the presence of Priyanka Gandhi and this is definitely not the first time that she had been allowed in a core group meeting of the Party or, for that matter, it is also surely not the first time that she had been interactive with the senior Party Leaders.
While the media speculations were rife with the possible involvement of Priyanka Gandhi in active politics of the Congress Party, All India Congress Committee Secretary Janardan Dwivedi (who had also attended the above – mentioned meeting), had been proactive in downplaying the conjectures of the media, although he admitted to the participation of Priyanka in the said meeting. He had also tried to portray Priyanka’s involvement in an internal meeting of the Party as seemingly casual.
Other political activities of Priyanka Gandhi:
So far Priyanka Gandhi’s political activities have been delimited within Rae Barili and Amethi, the Lok Sabha constituencies of her mother and brother. Inside information from the Congress Party enclaves confirms the fact that, Priyanka Gandhi is prepared to leave no stones unturned to aid her brother Rahul in the upcoming elections. Such facts are further bolstered by the strong ties that exist between the brother and the sister.
Presently Priyanka Gandhi has taken complete charge of the Rae Bareli constituency, which happens to be the old constituency of her mother Sonia Gandhi. She has been proactive in organizing regular political workshops for the Party members for the last one year. The increased frequency, with which Priyanka has been dropping in the Rae Bareli constituency, especially following the recent sickness spell of her mother Sonia Gandhi, had further fueled the conjectures that it will be Priyanka who would contest from the Gandhi family citadel of Rae Bareli instead of Sonia Gandhi. In all probabilities, this perhaps is the strategy of Sonia Gandhi of surrendering the helms of the Party in the hands of the younger Gandhi generation, a process which had been initiated with the coronation of Rahul Gandhi as the Vice – President of the Congress Party in January 2013. The official vibes, however, continue to explain Priyanka’s increased presence in Rae Bareli as explicitly for wooing the constituency, given the present delicate position of the Party in Uttar Pradesh. The precarious position of the Party in Rae Bareli is further highlighted by the Congress losing all the five seats in the Rae Bareli constituency in the last Assembly Elections of 2013. Sonia Gandhi happens to be more indisposed for the Rae Bareli constituency, given her health issues and other political priorities.
Political reactions to Priyanka Gandhi’s involvement in active politics:
However, the general reactions of Priyanka Gandhi getting involved in politics appear to be a mixed one. Political analysts, like N Bhaskara Rao, have opined that given Priyanka’s background, it is only ‘natural’ that Priyanka Gandhi will step up in the political arena and take more active participation in the Congress Party politics. As further added by Rao, “It is in response to large public expectations. There is a feeling that Rahul Gandhi has not evoked as much response as was expected. Sonia Gandhi’s poor health also forces Priyanka to give more backing to Rahul. Reports that the AAP is going to contest in many Lok Sabha seats, including Amethi may have forced her to be more active”. However, certain factions of the Congress leaders are apprehensive that, active participation of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in politics may rekindle the controversial land deal issues surrounding her husband Robert Vadra. With the Opposition BJP already pining about the disputed land transactions of Robert Vadra in the Parliament, a factor called Arvind Kejriwal, the present Prime Minister of Delhi and the Leader of the AAP, is also to be taken into account. Kejriwal had raised vehement oppositions regarding the alleged land deals of Robert Vadra earlier. While All India Congress Committee Secretary Janardan Dwivedi has indirectly advocated a political career for Priyanka, as surmised by Rao, “Priyanka will have this baggage (of the allegations against her husband) – we will have to see how she is going to cope with it”.
The future of the Congress – led UPA II Government is bleak in the light of the upcoming elections of 2014. Riddled by controversies, corruption issues, poor financial policies that had led to unmanageable inflation and economic uncertainties for the country, the stand of the UPA II Government can be best described as feeble compared to its stand in 2009, when it had witnessed a comeback marked by landslide victories.
As for the Congress Party desperately hoping for a change in the political tide in their favor, Priyanka Gandhi may prove to be that ace in the hole. Endowed with a charismatic personality and the congenital abilities to communicate with the Party workers and the public, she is the reflection of her legendary grandmother. While an official induction of Priyanka in active politics can prove to be the political discourse in favor of the Congress that the Party has been craving for so long, fact remains she has the capacities to overshadow Rahul Gandhi who is already eclipsed by the BJP Prmie Ministerial Candidate Narendra Modi. Rahul’s position has been further jeopardized with the emergence of Arvind Kejriwal – led AAP as a significant political force. So, it is evident that, the Congress will be between a rock and a hard place with the formal appointment of Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections on January 17th, 2014 at the AICC meeting in New Delhi. Also Rahul Gandhi will undoubtedly be the target of vitriolic criticism after such a formal anointment!