Amid speculations regarding her candidature in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, Priyanka Gandhi has given a cryptic response that she was willing to contest from Varanasi if her brother and Congress President Rahul Gandhi so wishes.
— ANI (@ANI) April 21, 2019
While interacting with the media minutes before departing from her two-day trip to Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency from where Rahul Gandhi is contesting as a ‘safe seat’, Priyanka hinted that she was willing to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency. She said, “If Congress President asks me to contest, I will be happy to contest (from Varanasi).”
This is the second time in a span of three weeks that Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi hinted that she was willing to contest the ongoing elections.
Earlier, while interacting with party workers in her mother Sonia Gandhi’s constituency Priyanka was asked to contest from Rae Bareli. She had immediately shot back asking why not Varanasi, PM Modi’s constituency.
Brother and the Party President, Rahul Gandhi in an interview to Hindustan, a sister publication of Hindustan Times said, ‘Let’s see. Let there be some suspense for now!’
Previously, Rahul Gandhi had made it clear that the primary goal that he had set for sister Priyanka wasn’t the 2019 Lok Sabha elections but to get the party in fighting shape and win 2022 UP state elections.
In what could be seen as a shrewd move by the party to get its caste equations correct in the state and cut into the Upper Caste vote bank of the BJP the Congress appointed Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as the in-charge of Uttar Pradesh East at the beginning of the year.
However, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her husband Robert Vadra have quite a colourful history which perhaps contributed to her delayed official entry into politics.
In 2016, Priyanka did a campaign for the party in Uttar Pradesh but she wasn’t received as well by the public as well as the party had hoped. In an amusing incidence in October, posters had come up at Sonia Gandhi’s constituency which accused Priyanka of being an emotional blackmailer. In February 2017, she was trolled by people on social media, a fate her brother has often suffered. She was also spotted with ‘neutral activist’ Gurmehar Kaur who has been perceived as someone who was milking her father’s sacrifice.
As Rahul Gandhi hasn’t really been a hit with the masses, the Congress party is certainly pinning their hopes on Priyanka. However, given her history and her husband’s, it’s unclear how far would she take her party in this political battle.