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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

Rahul Gandhi has accepted he can’t do politics, Sumitra Mahajan on Priyanka’s role

The eastern Uttar Pradesh is considered key to BJP’s strategy for 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Priyanka Gandhi’s appointment is considered to give a boost to the Congress workers in the region.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2019 19:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi.(PTI Photo)
         

A day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi appointed sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh East, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan termed it a “good thing” but with a little twist. Priyanka Gandhi’s appointment was viewed as a masterstroke by the Congress leadership.

Mahajan, however, spiced her welcoming comment to align it with her political party, the BJP, which described Priyanka Gandhi’s joining of the as an acceptance of Rahul Gandhi’s failure by the Congress party. Mahajan too toed the same line.

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“She (Priyanka Gandhi Vadra) is a good woman and Rahulji has accepted he can’t do politics all alone, and for that he is taking Priyanka’s help. It is a good thing,” Mahajan was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Earlier on Wednesday before heading to his parliamentary constituency in Amethi, Rahul Gandhi officially handed over to Priyanka Gandhi the responsibility to manage politically challenging eastern Uttar Pradesh. The Congress has weak organisational strength in the region, which is the home turf for Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and also holds the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi.

Read more| Tactical or strategic: Decoding Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s big role in UP politics

The eastern Uttar Pradesh is considered key to BJP’s strategy for 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Priyanka Gandhi’s appointment is considered to give a boost to the Congress workers in the region. Before taking up the official responsibility of UP East, Priyanka Gandhi had limited her political activities only in two parliamentary constituencies of Amethi and Rae Bareli, represented in the Lok Sabha by brother Rahul and mother Sonia Gandhi respectively.

Priyanka Gandhi had previously resisted all attempts by the Congress workers and leaders to get her join active politics. She always preferred to work behind the scene and keep the two Lok Sabha constituencies in her focus.

The latest move by the Congress has opened up the political game in the most populous state. Priyanka Gandhi’s new role in the Congress gains immense political significance in the wake of seat sharing arrangement announced recently by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP).

BSP chief Mayawati and SP president Akhilesh Yadav joined hands virtually ignoring the Congress. However, they stated that the alliance would not put up candidates against Rahul and Sonia Gandhi from Amethi and Rae Bareli respectively.

Read more| Voters will see Indira Gandhi in her: Shiv Sena on Priyanka Gandhi’s new political role