From Dubai To US, Scripting Of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's Political Plunge

Heading for New York straight from Dubai, Rahul Gandhi was on a special mission: To convince Priyanka Gandhi Vadra that her time to jump into politics was now.

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The two met in the United States and timed the announcement to his trip to Amethi. (File)


New Delhi: 

The decision for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to formally join politics was taken last week when party president and her brother Rahul Gandhi joined her in the United States.

Heading for New York straight from Dubai, Mr Gandhi was on a special mission: To convince Ms Gandhi Vadra that her time to jump into politics was now.

So far, Priyanka Gandhi has kept it as a part-time interest, nursing the pocket-boroughs of Amethi and Rae Bareli for her brother and mother and taking on assignments like the Uttar Pradesh elections.

Key members of the Congress told NDTV that while in the last two years, Ms Gandhi Vadra decided to eventually join politics, there was no time-frame. Busy with her children, she had kept the plan open-ended.

But when the prospects of alliance with Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh ended, Rahul Gandhi decided the time was now.

The two met in the United states and timed the announcement to his trip to Amethi. Ms Vadra will be back in the first week of February.

"Had the alliance worked out, her joining politics may have been in a different format, at a different time,'' said a key team leader. Now, the Congress is likely to fight all 80 seats and they are optimistically hoping that they will win at least 30 of those seats. Before this announcement, their projection was not more than 10 seats, party insiders said.

With this, there is now a unique situation of the Congress Working Committee having three members of the Gandhi family, including Sonia Gandhi.

Insiders don't rule out Priyanka Gandhi Vadra contesting her mother's seat, Raebareli, later this year, since Sonia Gandhi has more-or-less retired from party politics.

Party insiders said that the new team of Jyotiraditya Scindia and Priyanka Gandhi is likely to have 90% candidates under 50 and at least half of them under 40 years of age. "It is a whole new aggressive Congress that will be seen in Uttar Pradesh and our objective is to make the party very strong over there,'' said a party leader.

Her entry, insiders say, will go a long way towards appealing to the Brahmin voters, who makes up 12 per cent of the electorate in Uttar Pradesh, for which the Congress is vying against the BJP.

About the partnership of Jyotiraditya Scindia and Priyanka Gandhi, insiders say it fulfils two objectives. It compensates him for being denied the Chief Minister's position in Madhya Pradesh.

Insiders also see him as a strong organiser and one who has great connect with workers. "The two together sends the message that we are taking Uttar Pradesh very, very seriously," a leader said.



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