Suspense Over Priyanka continues

Suspense Over Priyanka continues

A day before Priyanka Gandhi addressed a number of corner meetings between Lucknow and her brother's parliamentary seat Amethi on Thursday, she made two significant remarks. PTI file photo

Congress trump card for Lok Sabha polls Priyanka Gandhi on  Thursday kicked in fresh speculation about her contesting polls asking in a jest "why not from Varanasi" when some of the party cadres during an interaction told her to contest Lok Sabha polls from her mother's Parliamentary seat Raebareli.

The remark made after interaction with party workers in Raebareli was a day after she made two significant remarks in her brother Parliamentary seat Amethi—first, she clearly told party workers to prepare for 2022 assembly polls and indicated her no objection to contesting even 2019 Lok Sabha polls if the party wanted her to do so.

In recent times, this is the first time that she has openly shed her inhibition about contesting the Lok Sabha polls even though she maintained that left to her own, she would like to work for the organization as Congress organizational structure is very weak in the UP.

The mention of Varanasi, the Parliamentary seat of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has brought in some interesting twist to the on-going political discourse. In 2014, Modi was challenged in Varanasi by AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal. Neither Congress nor the  SP-BSP alliance has declared its candidate from Varanasi, which has been a BJP stronghold for decades now.

So even when she said on Wednesday in Amethi “if my party tells me to fight the polls, I will definitely contest ( Agar meri party kahegi ki chunaav ladna hai to main jaroor ladoongi), it added to the grapevine that the final word on her contesting or not contesting 2019 Lok Sabha polls is yet not out.

To a specific question as to whether she will fight the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Priyanka had said, “I have not decided as yet (Abhi Maine Tay Nahin Kiya Hai).”
Asked whether she can fight, she said“why not. You can also fight.”

On Thursday, she also chose to stress that Rahul Gandhi will become the next Prime Minister of the country.

 “Are you preparing for elections. I am not talking about 2019 but 2022,” she said workers mobbed her in Amethi, dropping the signals that she is there for a long haul.

Two months back, Rahul Gandhi had made it clear that  Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has not been sent to Uttar Pradesh for four months till Lok Sabha elections are over.

“She has been sent here with a larger plan... We will not only defeat BJP in 2019 but also win 2022 elections,” Gandhi  had said explaining the decision of the party to suddenly announce Priyanka’s role in the national mainstream of Congress politics, which she had been avoiding for years and concentrating her political work to the family pocket borough of Amethi and  Raebareli, seats represented by her brother and mother.

Congress is organizationally very weak in Uttar Pradesh and has failed to cut ice with the voters even when it entered into an alliance with Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party in 2017 assembly polls, addressing election rallies with Yadav under “UP Ke Ladke” campaign.

Priyanka has been working from the background in party organization for quite long and her ability to connect with the workers instantly and maintaining a rapport with them for a longer period has been noticed in past. Congress desperately lacks a backroom poll manager when BJP chief Amit Shah has turned his party into a giant election machine.