Priyanka urged to contest from Nehru's constituency

India's first PM contested from Phulpur in 1952, 57, 62 LS polls

Priyanka urged to contest from Nehru's constituency

The Allahabad district Congress committee has adopted a resolution asking Priyanka Gandhi to contest from Phulpur Lok Sabha (LS) constituency in the 2014 polls, once represented by her great grandfather and India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

Posters and banners that read “Maiya rehti bimar, bhaiya par badh gaya bhar (the mother does not keep well and the brother is overburdened)” in Allahabad, further fuelled speculations about Priyanka taking a plunge into active politics.

The Congress may have rejected reports of Priyanka campaigning for the party in the 2014 LS polls, but party workers from the state want her to assist her brother and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and “share his burden”.

Haseeb Ahmed, secretary, district Congress committee, said: “Sonia Gandhi has not been keeping well and Rahul Gandhi is overburdened. Rahul alone cannot ensure victory for the party. Priyanka must lend a helping hand.”

He said the committee had passed a resolution asking Priyanka to contest from Phulpur and has sent the same to the central leadership of the party. “We are unanimous in our view that she should contest from Phulpur,” he added.

Nehru represented Phulpur in the 1952, 1957 and 1962 Lok Sabha polls. His sister, Vijayalakshmi Pandit, had won the seat in 1967. Also, Rahul had launched the Congress election campaign for the 2012 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls from Phulpur.

Speculations about Priyanka taking up a larger role in the party have been making the rounds ever since she took charge of her mother Sonia Gandhi’s Raebareli constituency.
After Sonia’s surgery, Priyanka has become more active in Raebareli. She has decided to meet the electorate on a weekly basis in Delhi.

State Congress leaders have been rooting for Priyanka’s entry into active politics for quite some time now. Priyanka has in the past campaigned for Sonia Gandhi at Raebareli.
During the 2012 Assembly polls, she had campaigned aggressively but the Congress failed to win even a single seat in the constituency.

The local party workers had then complained that infighting among the leaders and inaccessibility of their representatives were some of the reasons behind the defeat.
BJP leader Vijay Bahadur Pathak, however, said that Priyanka would not be able to “revive” the Congress’ fortunes in UP.

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