Calls for Priyanka Gandhi’s Lok Sabha poll entry grow stronger
While the final decision rests with Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi herself, party leaders and workers from Uttar Pradesh argue the move will enhance the Congress’s poll prospects across the country.Updated: Apr 13, 2019 23:32 IST
Voices within the Congress urging Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, party general secretary for east Uttar Pradesh, to contest the ongoing Lok Sabha elections from the state have grown louder.
While the final decision rests with Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi herself, party leaders and workers from Uttar Pradesh argue the move will enhance the Congress’s poll prospects across the country.
“It is important for all Congress persons that Priyankaji comes into electoral politics. She should contest the Lok Sabha elections from any seat in the state,” said Pradeep Mathur, former UP Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader. “It will boost the morale of Congress workers and leaders and also the public who see her as the next Indira Gandhi due to her striking resemblance with the late Prime Minister,” he added.
Senior UP Congress leader and former Lok Sabha member from Varanasi, Rajesh Mishra, echoed his views. “Congress requires her services in every nook and corner of UP. If she contests, the party will benefit a lot and it will have significant impact across UP.”
A Congress functionary said on condition of anonymity that Priyanka Gandhi may contest from Varanasi against Prime Minister Narendra Modi or from Allahabad. “Both are constituencies steeped in religion. If she decides to contest from either of the two seats, it will have a huge and positive impact on the party’s prospects in the ongoing elections,” he said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has already fielded UP minister and former Congress leader, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, from Allahabad. The functionary said the only hurdle was whether the Congress high command would agree to three members of the Gandhi family contesting the elections.
Mishra said even if Priyanka Gandhi decided not to contest, her campaigning for party candidates across the country would give a substantive push to the Congress bid to oust the BJP from power at the Centre.
Priyanka Gandhi will be campaigning extensively across the country. She will be holding a road show in Silchar Lok Sabha constituency from where All India Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev is seeking re-election. On April 17, Priyanka Gandhi is expected to address a rally at Banaskantha in Gujarat.
Asked at a news conference about the possibility of Priyanka Gandhi contesting from Varanasi, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said he would not like to comment on hypothetical questions.
“There is no such decision yet. Whenever any such decision will be taken, we will inform you accordingly,” he told reporters.
First Published: Apr 13, 2019 22:38 IST