Priyanka Gandhi's political debut has given the BJP's estranged ally Shiv Sena another chance to drive home a cutting message. "Acche din (good times) have come for the Congress," the Sena said, needling the BJP with the phrase made popular by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his campaign for the 2014 national election.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said he had expected Priyanka Gandhi's political launch ever since the Congress won three heartland states from the BJP last month.
"I have been noticing for the past two months that the Congress's acche din have come after they won the elections in three states. Ever since, I felt that Priyanka ji will enter politics in Uttar Pradesh," Mr Raut said.
"This is a good decision by Rahul Gandhi and the people of this country have always had a relationship with the Gandhi family. Indira Gandhi's legacy will always remain in this country...the Congress will benefit from this," said the Sena leader.
The Sena's words are the opposite of what the BJP feels about the Priyanka Gandhi factor, but such a ringing endorsement is not unexpected.
The two parties, whose alliance goes at least three decades back, have been bickering for the past few years.
Their squabbling peaked during the Maharashtra assembly election in 2014, when the fought separately after failing to come to an understanding on seat sharing. After the polls, they were forced to tie up to form a government when no party won a majority.
Since then, their relationship has been "complicated", with the BJP repeatedly trying to mollify the Sena despite the relentless barbs.
The Congress announced yesterday that Priyanka Gandhi would be general secretary in charge of the eastern half of Uttar Pradesh, which has the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A Sena leader said hours later that people would see former prime minister Indira Gandhi in Priyanka Gandhi - she bears a striking resemblance to her grandmother - and the party would benefit from her good personality and her ability to strike a chord with the voters.
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