India: Priyanka’s entry as much about state poll as it’s about Lok Sabha election

  • Rahul Gandhi as Prime Minister in 2019 and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as the party’s face in the 2022 Uttar Pradesh elections best describes the sentiment that Congress leaders and workers took home from the Congress office in Lucknow in the last two days.
  • Priyanka began her hour long seat-wise meetings on 12 Feb 19 in Lucknow in which she described the 2022 state elections as the “main target” while making no mention of the SPBSP alliance.
  • According to many party leaders who met Priyanka, she admitted that time was short to bring about any transformation in the organisation in UP before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, but added a better performance can be put up by sinking differences and good candidate selection.
  • The underlying message that the leaders gauged from the meetings was that there is little chance of Congress holding talks with SP-BSP alliance, the party would fight all 80 Lok Sabha seats and try to win 15-20 seats to help Rahul Gandhi become prime minister, and most importantly that Priyanka would lead the party in UP and be its face in the 2022 state polls.
  • She stressed that Congress could only win a seat if it had a dedicated te am on every booth. The party’s former Unnao MP, Annu Tandon, told ET that Priyanka clearly asked “what the problems were”.
  • Other Congress leaders told ET that Congress under a strong face like Priyanka will be a serious threat to BSP’s Mayawati in the 2022 elections as Muslims and upper-castes have been old voters of the party.

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