Monday, Oct 02, 2023

Priyanka Gandhi Set To Play Significant Role For Congress Ahead Of Upcoming Elections

Priyanka Gandhi Set To Play Significant Role For Congress Ahead Of Upcoming Elections

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi is believed to play an important role for the party’s victories in Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka.

Priyanka Gandhi in Bengaluru
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi.(File photo) Photo: PTI/Shailendra Bhojak

Following victories in Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi is set to play a significant role in the party’s campaigns in elections later this year.

Priyanka Gandhi has already held a rally in Telangana, said NDTV report.

The report said she is expected to address one in Madhya Pradesh on June 12, where she is likely to amplify the party's promise of income guarantee of Rs1,500. She is also likely to campaign extensively in Chhattisgarh.

The report said Mahila samvaad (women forums), an idea she floated and implemented in the party's campaign centred around women in the Uttar Pradesh election last year was also part of the Congress's campaign in the recent Karnataka polls. 

It will be an integral part of the Congress's upcoming poll campaigns, as will be the promise of income support for women, free cylinders, and free public transport. 

"A separate focus on women voters has entered the Congress's thinking now, after UP. Because the leadership has understood that women want solutions to price rise. The other very important thing that Priyankaji has been pushing for is increasing the number of women candidates. She is pushing for this even though her own party leaders reject the idea outright," a party leader was quoted as saying about Priyanka Gandhi.

It is believed that Priyanka Gandhi's role  in Karnataka was important considering Rahul Gandhi's disqualification following his conviction in a defamation case.

Congress leaders believe Priyanka Gandhi gave the biggest push to the party's campaign in Himachal Pradesh, where it won 40 seats, reducing the BJP from 44 to 25 seats. It roped in leaders such as Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Congress leader Rajeev Shukla. 

While the Gandhi family has historical and family linkages with Karnataka and Telangana, with Indira Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi having contested and won from Bellary and the former also contesting from Medak, it was Himachal Pradesh that Priyanka Gandhi felt most emotionally connected to.

"She spoke many times about how Indiraji had spoken to family members that she wanted to spend the last few days of her life in Himachal Pradesh, which is why Rajivji scattered her ashes in the hills. It was she who pushed for the Old Pension Scheme for government employees and gas cylinders at Rs 500," a Congress functionary was quoted as having said.

"Wherever in Karnataka she went, she didn't want to hear any Priyanka Gandhi ki Jai..she insisted the chants were all about the Congress, and they should be loud. Till the last day, she was filling josh (enthusiasm) in people, and giving them the confidence to believe that they could be winning," another Congress leader said.

"Woh door se baat nahin karti (She doesn't like addressing people from a distance). She doesn't like to be restricted and she is at her best when left amidst women," one of the leaders closely associated with her said.

"At a public meeting in Mathura, local BJP workers brought a rape victim from Rajasthan to Priyankaji's rally to show the state of governance in the Congress-ruled state, but she took her to the banks of the Yamuna, spoke to her like a mother, and enrolled her into college. They are in regular touch even now," the functionary quoted above said.

"She stresses on zameenipan (ground connect), which is why she is comfortable among the masses. The many people she meets and forms a bond with, she keeps in touch with personally, and the ones she helps, she keeps following up if they need anything else," he added.


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