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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Opposition forcing Priyanka to take centre stage

Sunita Aron, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, April 30, 2014
First Published: 00:40 IST(30/4/2014) | Last Updated: 11:11 IST(30/4/2014)

The opposition, it appears, is inciting Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to step out of the Gandhi bastions of Amethi and Rae Bareli and take centre-stage in the Congress.

People who have closely watched her electioneering in the two constituencies since 199 have noted the drastic change in her tone and tenor, incessantly taking potshots at BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

Read: Priyanka says Modi's behaviour is childish, accuses BJP of copying Cong manifesto

Rae Bareli-based academician Ram Bahadur Verma says: “Priyanka by and large restricted herself to local issues or family’s emotional bonding with the area. But today she is raising national issues showcasing her ability to take on even Modi. Her statement that one needs a big heart to run the country and not a 56-inch chest has made her the talking point in Rae Bareli.” He believes the final decision on her entry into active politics would depend on the Lok Sabha results.

Nonetheless, her blistering attack on Modi has raised the party’s hopes of her entering electoral politics in the near future. The general perception is that while Sonia Gandhi could ignore the growing clamour for her daughter in the party, Priyanka would find it hard to overlook the opposition’s barbs that are likely to revolve around husband Robert Vadra in the coming months.

Read: Cong falls back on Gandhis to counter Modi onslaught

Though Priyanka has declined to campaign in Varanasi, the party’s expectations of her crossing the laxmanrekha are running high. “Let’s wait and watch the twists and turns in the ongoing Robert Vadra saga. The opposition thought her husband and his exploits were holding her back from entering politics but she has turned the tables on them by taking the bull by the horns,” says a Congress leader close to the Gandhis.

Political analyst Ramesh Dixit says, “She is definitely going to play an active role in politics as it is for the first time that she and her husband have been attacked and humiliated. She is going to retaliate and for that she has to be in active politics. After all their stakes are also high.”

Read: No challenge to Cong in Rae Bareli, Amethi: Priyanka Gandhi

Gyanendra Sharma, a political scientist, feels that the opposition has not left her with any other option but to enter national politics instead of remaining content with backseat driving. “The BJP has humiliated her family so much that she has to react and react violently. It is reminiscent of 1977 when Janata Party pursued the politics of harassing Indira Gandhi. It is time she started portraying herself as a victim of BJP’s brand of politics,” he says.

Read: Priyanka Gandhi has lowered political discourse: Jaitley

 

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