In a major development ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has appointed his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra the All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East.
In a communique, the Congress said Priyanka will be taking charge from the first week of February. The release said Jyotiraditya Scindia has been appointed the party general secretary for Uttar Pradesh West, and KC Venugopal the national general secretary, with immediate effect.
Appointment of General Secretaries for All India Congress Committee. pic.twitter.com/zHENwt6Ckh
— INC Sandesh (@INCSandesh) January 23, 2019
The announcement of Priyanka's official entry into active politics comes on the heels of the Congress failing to crack a deal with the BSP and Samajwadi Party for an alliance in Uttar Pradesh.
So far, Priyanka had only shown her presence while overseeing campaigning in Amethi — Rahul's constituency — and Rae Bareli — her mother Sonia Gandhi's constituency. Her appointment as a Congress general secretary means she will now be able to go past her restrictions to campaign in Uttar Pradesh.
Soon after the news broke, Rahul told reporters, "I am happy that my sister will now work with me. Jyotiraditya is also a dynamic youth leader... I have given Priyanka and Jyotiraditya a mission to spread the true ideology of Congress. I have full faith in both of them."
About the plans for Priyanka with respect to the general election, Rahul said that it was upto her if she wished to contest the polls. "We will not be playing in the backfoot. We are in politics for the people and wherever we get the option, we'll be on the front foot. I believe this move will result in a positive change," he said.
Reacting to the development, senior Congress leader Motilal Vohra said Priyanka now has a "very important" responsibility as her appointment will not only have an effect in eastern Uttar Pradesh alone, but in other regions, as well.
Party leader Rajeev Shukla said Priyanka's entry into politics will help in the revival of the Congress not only in Uttar Pradesh, but the entire country.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, "The Congress is a family party; there is no doubt about it. After being rejected from the 'mahagathbandhan' everywhere, the party has sought a crutch from within their own family."
Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot said that it was Priyanka's "personal choice" to join politics. "This decision will motivate Congress cadres all over the country," he said.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Jan 23, 2019 14:16:11 IST