Priyanka Gandhi Vadra today entered active politics for the first time, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. She was appointed by the Congress as the party's Secretary In-Charge of Uttar Pradesh (East). The appointment to the key post shows a realisation that the party cannot have just one in-charge in Uttar Pradesh, a state which has 80 Lok Sabha seats and plays a key role in deciding who comes to power at the centre. Apart from Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Congress has also appointed party leader KC Venugopal as the Congress Committee's General Secretary (Organisation), Jyotiraditya Scindia as the general secretary for Uttar Pradesh West and Ghulam Nabi Azad as general secretary for Haryana.
The Congress party as well as several other political leaders have taken to social media after her appointment.
"We're fired up & ready to go!" the Congress said, tweeting about the new appointments.
Reacting to the news of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's appointment amid Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav's decision to not ally with the Congress in Uttar Pradesh for the national elections, Congress President and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's brother Rahul Gandhi, said the Congress "needs to make its ground" in the state. "I have not sent Priyanka and Jyotiraditya for just two months. I have sent them to take Congress' ideology forward in Uttar Pradesh," he said.
"The BJP is scared. It seems worked up and upset with recent developments," Rahul Gandhi added.
Businessman Robert Vadra, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's husband, took to Facebook to congratulate her "Congratulations P... always by your side in every phase of your life. Give it your best," he said in the post.
Jyotiraditya Scindia, tweeting in Hindi, thanked Congress President Rahul Gandhi "from the bottom of my heart." In the tweet, Mr Scindia also said he would "work to strengthen the party in the east of Uttar Pradesh."
.@INCIndia अध्यक्ष श्री @RahulGandhi जी ने मुझ पर जो विश्वास जताया है, उसके लिए मैं उनका हृदय से धन्यवाद व्यक्त करता हूँ। पश्चिमी उत्तर प्रदेश में पार्टी को मजबूत करने के लिए सदैव की तरह अपनी पूरी क्षमता से कार्य करूँगा।- Jyotiraditya Scindia (@JM_Scindia) January 23, 2019
"This is so brilliant," wrote senior Congress leader Priyanka Chaturvedi in a tweet, while also congratulating Jyotiraditya Scindia, KC Venugopal and Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Many many congratulations!!! This is so brilliant from @INCIndia President @RahulGandhi ji. Welcoming Priyanka Gandhi Vadra ji as Incharge UP East! Congratulations @JM_Scindia ji! @kcvenugopalmp ji & @ghulamnazad ji wishing you best in your new role! Game on! pic.twitter.com/BCoIw1pAso- Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) January 23, 2019
Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah also tweeted his "best wishes" to the new appointees as well.
Congratulations & best wishes to Shri. @kcvenugopalmp, Smt. #PriyankaGandhiVadra & Shri. @JM_Scindia on being appointed as AICC General Secretary In-charge of the Organisation, Uttar Pradesh East & Uttar Pradesh West respectively. pic.twitter.com/YbmkIXVnDb- Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) January 23, 2019
"This will help in the revival of Congress not only in Uttar Pradesh, but the entire country," said Congress leader Rajeev Shukla, quoted by news agency ANI. "BJP is terrified. Because she's from UP, she was made General Seretary," he said.
"Very, very welcome step from the party," said senior Congress leader Sheila Dixit. "She's very familiar with politics. I found her mature and knowledgeable," she added.
Election strategist and Bihar's ruling Janata Dal United Vice President Prashant Kishor, in a tweet, said "one of the most awaited entries in Indian politics is finally here." He said that while "people may debate the timing, exact role and position," to him, "the real news is that she finally decided to take the plunge!"
One of the most awaited entries in Indian politics is finally here! While people may debate the timing, exact role and position, to me, the real news is that she finally decided to take the plunge! Congratulations and best wishes to Priyanka Gandhi.- Prashant Kishor (@PrashantKishor) January 23, 2019
Reacting to the appointment, BJP's Sambit Patra in a press conference said the Congress "cannot think beyond the family. First it was Jawaharlal Nehru, then Indira Gandhi. This was followed by Rajiv Gandhi, then Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, and now we see Priyanka Gandhi. What next? The Congress starts and ends with the Nehru-Gandhi family," he said.
"The difference between the BJP and the Congress is that for the BJP, the party is the family (parivaar), and for the Congress the family (parivaar) is the party," he added.
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