Centre’s notice over bungalow revives Priyanka Gandhi’s Lucknow plan
According to sources, a house too has been identified for Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi.Updated: Jul 02, 2020 15:41 IST
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra planned to move to Lucknow in February, said an aide of hers, to provide more ballast to the Congress unit in Uttar Pradesh. The notice yesterday to vacate her Lutyens’ Bungalow may work as a catalyst for the Congress general secretary to decide on her future course of action.
According to sources, a house too has been identified for the Congress leader.
“She has readied a home (late Congress leader Sheila Kaul’s house) there, and if it wasn’t for the pandemic, she would have moved there already. Now, we don’t know whether she will move there, but it was the plan before coronavirus struck,” a party aide said on the condition of anonymity.
The ministry of housing and urban affairs on Wednesday cancelled the government accommodation provided to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at Lodhi Estate, on the grounds that she is no longer protected by the Special Protection Group (SPG) and so was not eligible for living in the bungalow in the elite Lutyens’ Delhi . The Congress leader was also asked to clear her dues, which she did immediately online.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala termed the move to evict her “frustrated decisions of the authoritarian government”.
Priyanka Gandhi has been active on the ground in Uttar Pradesh. Just recently, she had a run-in with the local administration over organising buses to transport migrant workers stranded in other states back to Uttar Pradesh. She is a general secretary of the party in charge of the state.
If the shift does come about, it will see Priyanka Gandhi, Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mayawati, and the state chief minister Yogi Adityanath all in the same city. Firebrand Dalit leader Chandrashekhar Azad, who launched his Azad Samaj Party in March, adds to the mix.
The Congress general secretary, who is yet to contest an election, has been regularly highlighting the state of affairs in Uttar Pradesh: from Coronavirus to job losses, teacher scam to migrant crisis to even wishing state students on their board results.
The Congress leader’s last visit to Lucknow was in December 2019, in the aftermath of violent protests over the anti-Citizenship Act. She alleged that the police caught her by the neck and pushed to the ground as they tried to stop her from meeting a retired IPS officer who was arrested for opposing the citizenship law.
Just recently, Priyanka Gandhi took a swipe at Mayawati, who said she stands by the BJP on China, saying some opposition leaders were the “undeclared spokespersons” of the BJP.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Gandhi campaigned for her brother Rahul and mother Sonia, but the results were nothing to talk about. Rahul Gandhi lost her seat to BJP’s Smirti Irani. Congress has just one MP from Uttar Pradesh: Sonia Gandhi.