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The Priyanka factor

The Priyanka factor
Highlights

Yet again, speculation is rife in political circles that Priyanka Gandhi may be picked up as Congress chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh. The master strategist Prashant Kishor has reportedly advised the party to field either Rahul or Priyanka in the electoral fray from a State that means a lot for reviving party fortunes. 

Yet again, speculation is rife in political circles that Priyanka Gandhi may be picked up as Congress chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh. The master strategist Prashant Kishor has reportedly advised the party to field either Rahul or Priyanka in the electoral fray from a State that means a lot for reviving party fortunes.

Uttar Pradesh is certainly vital for Congress in its bid to regain India in 2019. The success of Bihar experiment enthuses Congress in the UP. The BJP had a formidable show in the State in 2014. The party is obviously moving heaven and earth to come back in UP by repeating the same in the Assembly polls. Thus, UP mandate is turning out into an acid test for both Congress and BJP.

The defeat in Assam and Kerala makes the UP electoral arena much more important for the Congress to frustrate BJP’s attempts for a Congress-mukth Bharat. Unscathed by mounting criticism from rivals over the dynastic grip over the party, the grand old party of Indian democracy cannot imagine its destiny minus Nehru -Gandhi family.

Rahul Gandhi is already pitted against charismatic Narendra Modi. The party cannot therefore downgrade him by throwing him into UP cauldron. Therefore unsullied Brahmastra is Priyanka. She is certainly more charismatic than her brother Rahul and more certainly better articulating too. However, she is untried. It would be a win-win situation for the Congress strategists to try with Priyanka.

If she succeeds, the fortunes of the party will not only be revived in UP, but its stakes will be bolstered even in Delhi. The party shall also have an alternative if Rahul fails to steer through the party. In case she fails, it will not cast any shadow over Rahul Gandhi.
Till now, Priyanka always confined to her mother and brother’s constituencies. She is yet to show any serious interest in politics.

But, that cannot be the reason to write her off as Rajeev and Rahul too were hesitant initially. The members of the Congress first family never ran away from leading the party when the occasion arose. But, the million dollar question is can Priyanka revive the sagging fortunes of Congress.

Family legacy, physical similarities with her grandmother Indira Gandhi, articulating abilities alone will not suffice. Political circumstances should be favourable. The party has to be electrified. It should find right allies. It has to reinvent the political idiom to catch the imagination of people. More so, the Congress fortunes are also a factor of Modi’s political compass.

It’s preposterous to project Priyanka as Congress sanjeevani. But, her entry into the electoral fray would certainly perk up the political landscape for the Congress. Her choice as CM would significantly boost the morale of Congress workers not only in UP but even elsewhere in the country. However, the party needs a metamorphosis to make a return.

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