Speaking at Hindustan Samagam event in Lucknow, Union minister Smriti Irani on Saturday dismissed Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s regular forays into Uttar Pradesh as something the Gandhi scion needs to do to create a space for herself in her own party.
According to a Hindustan Times report, Smriti Irani said: “Priyanka is only active in her own party, Congress, because she is working to make space for herself in her own party.”
At the beginning of last year, Priyanka Gandhi, who was until then not very active in politics, was inducted as the AICC General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh East.
It is interesting to note that while other General Secretaries are full-time politicians with long experiences in the field, Priyanka Gandhi was relatively an outsider for politics. But soon after her induction into the party, which was done with a hope to get the upper hand in national politics, there were speculations that the Gandhi scion had failed to make an impression within her own party.
She faced resistance from the party’s old leaders as she attempted to replace the older section with younger blood, which had, in turn, boomeranged on her. Last year, out of over 350 former MPs, MLAs, MLCs and 2017 Vidhan Sabha and 2019 Lok Sabha election candidates of Congress invited, only 40 persons showed up at a meeting, called by the Gandhi scion at UP Congress headquarters on November 22.
Priyanka was excessively canvassed by her party during the Lok Sabha elections but could not make a mark. After the elections defeat, UP Congress’ senior leaders were said to be terribly displeased with Priyanka’s leadership.
Moreover, earlier this month, her campaign in the Delhi assembly elections also failed to change the Congress’ fortune where it drew a blank for the second successive time and saw its vote share plunge. After the humiliating loss in the Delhi assembly elections, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had acknowledged that it is a time of struggle for the grand old party.
Though the Gandhi scion has not yet done anything unexceptional for her party, which has sadly declined beyond redemption, speculations are rife that the Congress party will nominate Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the sister of former Congress President and daughter of the interim president, to the Rajya Sabha from either Chhattisgarh or Madhya Pradesh.
As per reports, the party still believes that the entry of Rahul Gandhi’s sister will augment the voice of the party in the Upper House of the Parliament. The decision of the Congress party is likely influenced by the drubbing it received in the Delhi Assembly Elections on Tuesday. However, Priyanka herself has not commented on the overtures of the Congress state governments.
Accusations of dynasty politics thrown at Congress hurts the party because it is true. With Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s entry to the Rajya Sabha, there will be three members from the Parivar in the Parliament of the country. Furthermore, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s daughter does not have any significant achievement in politics thus far and her biggest asset continues to be her family name.