Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is the daughter of Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi and is a political campaigner for the Congress party. Before the 2019 parliamentary elections, her brother Rahul Gandhi as Congress president appointed her General Secretary of the party and made her in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh. In a bid to draw the attention of voters to Priyanka’s apparent physical resemblance with her grandmother, Congress workers put up giant cutouts of Indira Gandhi at the venue in Gandhinagar where she made first political speech in her new found official role.
Though she was active in politics for a long time but she had kept her interest limited to Amethi and Raebareli, twin seats represented by her family, brother Rahul Gandhi and mother Sonia Gandhi. After 2014 parliamentary elections when Congress suffered a nationwide rout, Congress leaders and workers from all hues started demanding that Priyanka should be given a leading post in formal structure of the party and actively lead the party in UP and rest of the nation.
She was hailed to Congress party’s Bharmasthtra (mythical weapon of last resort of Lord Brahma) but she failed to make any impact in 2019 parliamentary elections. She campaigned hard in Amethi and spent great deal of time there but her brother Rahul Gandhi lost four decade long Congress’s first family bastion to BJP’s Smriti Irani. Except for her mother Sonia Gandhi, she couldn’t help win any other Congress candidate in UP’s 80 parliamentary constituency. She was drafted to campaign for the party in other parts of the country also but again she failed to mobilise voters. While campaigning in Delhi for Congress, she appealed to voters as ‘dilli ki ladki’ but wasn’t able to strike an emotive cord with voters.
Priyanka, who did her graduation in Psychology from Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi. She is married to businessman Robert Vadra who is currently being investigated by central investigative agencies, particularly by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for economic offences. The ED had filed a case of money laundering in the purchase of a property worth 1.9 million pounds (over Rs 17.77 crore) located at 12, Bryanston Square, London, which allegedly belongs to Robert Vadra. In September 2015, the ED registered a money laundering case alleging that Robert Vadra-owned Sky Light Hospitality had acquired land in Kolayat, Bikaner, which was meant for rehabilitation of poor villagers. According to ED Robert Vadra and his associates received 'Kickbacks' in the petroleum deal signed in 2009 during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime.
The Congress ranks and file, however, are hopeful that Priyanka would help the party regain its lost glory. She has promised to Congress workers that she would continue to focus in Uttar Pradesh. She has a herculean task at hand given the fact that Congress practically does not have any organizational structure and support base left in UP.
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