Congress may get a boost if Priyanka decides to contest assembly polls: Experts
The Congress may be strengthened if party general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra decides to contest the assembly polls, political experts feel.
This view comes amid the perception that she may soon feel compelled to take a call on the two key issues of whether to contest the assembly polls or openly declare herself or any other leader as her party’s chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh.
On Friday, she virtually pitched herself as the Congress’s chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh.
“If it is decided (to contest the assembly election), you will come to know. So far, we have not decided,” she said, replying to a question from the media after releasing, along with Rahul Gandhi, the Congress’s youth manifesto at a programme in the backdrop of the playing of the campaign song “Mera job, mujhe milega” (I will get my job) at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in New Delhi on Friday.
On who would be the Congress’s chief ministerial face in the 2022 assembly elections, she only hinted that the election is being fought under her leadership though she virtually pitched herself as a contender for CM’s position.
“Do you see anybody else’s face? Then? You can see my face everywhere?” she said to another question from the media.
“I feel Priyanka Gandhi Vadra should contest the 2022 polls. If she contests and wins, the Congress will get a new lease of life. The Congress has no strong leader of the level of chief minister Yogi Adityanath and SP (Samajwadi Party) chief Akhilesh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh. She must try, fight and win,” said Professor SK Dwivedi, former head of department, political science, Lucknow University.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also indicated the Congress was open to the possibilities of an alliance in the post-poll scenario in case of a hung assembly in Uttar Pradesh.
“We will be open to considering that (post-poll tie-up) if such circumstances arise. We will certainly want our agenda for the youth and the women to be fulfilled if we are going to be part of any dispensation,” said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
On the other hand, the two main contenders for power, chief minister Yogi Adityanath and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, have already decided to contest the 2022 elections.
Yogi Adityanath will contest from Gorakhpur (Urban) and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav from Karhal, Mainpuri.
Both the leaders are also the CM candidates of the BJP and the Samajwadi Party, respectively.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, so far, has parried a direct reply to questions about contesting any election. Her indirect reply on Friday has raised more questions that she may need to clarify before the 2022 assembly polls.
Uttar Pradesh BJP spokesman Avnish Tyagi said, “Priyanka Gandhi Vadra should make the position clear. Every party comes out with a poll manifesto. It should also have a CM face who should contest assembly elections. This was the tradition which was not being followed for the past nearly 15 years. Chief minister Yogi Adityanath opted to contest the assembly election from Gorakhpur and it was because of this pressure that SP chief Akhilesh Yadav is also contesting the poll. The Congress and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra should come out with their position on the issue.”
For the past 15 years, successive chief ministers have taken the Vidhan Parishad route (legislative council), instead of going for a direct election. As chief minister, SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav had contested and won a by-election in 2004 from the Gunnaur assembly seat. He also won the Gunnaur seat in the 2007 assembly elections.
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