Congress 'decides' on expanded role for Priyanka Gandhi in UP polls, announcement likely in 48 hours

Reports claimed on Tuesday that the Congress has finally taken a decision on bringing in Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to campaign for the party across Uttar Pradesh for the crucial Assembly Elections next year.

Last Updated: Jul 05, 2016, 19:37 PM IST
Congress 'decides' on expanded role for Priyanka Gandhi in UP polls, announcement likely in 48 hours

New Delhi: Reports claimed on Tuesday that the Congress has finally taken a decision on bringing in Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to campaign for the party across Uttar Pradesh for the crucial Assembly Elections next year.

Several media outlets, including India Today, reported that the party is expected to make a formal announcement regarding the same in the next 48 hours or latest by the end of this week.

"This is confirmed that she has agreed to become the lead campaigner. This will be formally announced by the AICC (All India Congress Committee) in a day or two," an informed source told IANS news agency.

The reports came even as party spokespersons refused to say anything on the speculation going on in the media regarding Priyanka's expanded role – something which analysts see as Priyanka's entry into full-time politics.

“We refuse to indulge in speculation. If and when a decision is taken regarding the role of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, we shall be happy to share it (with you),” Congress spokesman RS Surjewala had told the media earlier in the day.

Congress leaders have so far remained tight-lipped over reports that Priyanka Gandhi would be the party's star campaigner in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh and also on the issue of elevation of Rahul Gandhi as the party chief.

 

"Whenever it happens, you will know," former Union minister and senior party leader Jairam Ramesh had said earlier.

He had dismissed suggestions that Priyanka taking centre stage in campaigning in Uttar Pradesh showed poorly on the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.

Party veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is in charge of party affairs in Uttar Pradesh, has already favoured Priyanka becoming pro-active in campaigning all over the state.

According to The Financial Express, Azad has said that Priyanka's role which was limited to Amethi and Rae Bareli will be expanded soon.

In fact, as per the newspaper, Azad has even spoken to Priyanka regarding the proposal, after securing a go-ahead from Congress president and her mother Sonia Gandhi.

On Saturday, Uttar Pradesh Congress spokesperson Satya Dev Tripathi had said that Priyanka will step out of her family pocket boroughs of Amethi and Rae Bareli to campaign for the party all over the state.

Poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who has been roped in by the Congress to help and assist the party in Uttar Pradesh, has reportedly suggested that if Rahul declines to lead the party in the state, Priyanka by all means should.

Reports have said that Priyanka would lead the campaign in UP and address as many as 150 meetings.

Congress is in political wilderness in UP for the past more than 26 years which saw emergence of Mandal and Mandir issues and the rise of BSP.

Also, Congress has witnessed reverses after reverses in elections since it lost power in the Lok Sabha polls in May 2014 and in which it posted its worst ever performance of 44 seats in the House of 543.