In a significant development, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the daughter of Sonia Gandhi, has been appointed as the AICC General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh East. The party made some new appointments in the party leadership today ahead of upcoming Lok Sabha elections, and Priyanka Gandhi’s name was the surprise inclusion in the notification issued by the party.
In a press released issued by General Secretary Ashok Gehlot, the party also appointed Jyotiraditya Scindia as AICC General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh West. Existing AICC General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh Ghulam Nabi Azad will be now the General Secretary for Haryana.
It is interesting to note that while other General Secretaries are full-time politicians with long experiences in the field, Priyanka Gandhi is relatively outsider for politics. Apart from appearing with her mother and brother during election campaigns, she has not shown any regular participation in politics. Although she helped in the campaigns of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi during elections, now she has a much bigger role as the General Secretary for East UP, a region much bigger than several states in the country.
Priyanka Gandhi getting a bigger role in the party was hinted when she was made part of the selection process of Chief Minister of Rajasthan last month after the Congress party won the assembly elections. According to reports, when CM candidates for the party Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot met party president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi, Priyanka Gandhi was present at the meeting.
While Priyanka Gandhi will be busy in election-related work, her husband Robert Vadra will be busy with investigating agencies and courts, as he is facing investigations in several cases. A few days ago the Rajasthan High Court ordered him to appear before the ED, as he has been ignoring summons issued to him on the Bikaner land deal case. He is also facing probe in a land deal in Gurugram. Vadra and his several associates are also being investigated for involvement defence deals and money laundering cases.
Appointment of two relatively young leaders for the most important state in Lok Sabha indicates a departure from the party’s strategy to depend on party veterans, which was seen in the selection of CMs for Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh recently. It may be the beginning of Rahul Gandhi replacing old guard with new faces in the party.