Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress Wednesday appointed Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as general secretary of Uttar Pradesh East. She will take charge in the second week of February. Jyotiraditya Scindia, meanwhile, has been made in-charge of Uttar Pradesh West with immediate effect. While making the announcement, the Congress tweeted: “We’re fired up and ready to go!”
Priyanka Vadra will look after 30 Lok Sabha constituencies that fall in the UP East region, including Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency, and Gorakhpur, represented by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Read this story in Tamil, Malayalam, Bengali
In the past, Priyanka’s role in politics was limited to campaigning for Sonia Gandhi, and Rahul, who represents Amethi.
— Congress (@INCIndia) January 23, 2019
Meanwhile, Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was in-charge of UP, has been made general secretary of Haryana. The party has also appointed K C Venugopal as general secretary of the Congress, apart from his role in Karnataka.
On the entry of Priyanka into Uttar Pradesh politics, Congress MLC Deepak Singh said Congress president Rahul Gandhi has now got a good companion while hinting at more changes to come.
On allegation of BJP that Rahul has failed, Congress MLC Deepak Singh says that now Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are together going to ask questions about lies of BJP and BJP would have to respond. @IndianExpress
— Maulshree Seth (@MaulshreeSeth) January 23, 2019
The appointments of Priyanka and Scindia hold significance as the party recently announced that it would contest all 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Uttar Pradesh, the results of which will hold key for formation of the government in the Centre, faces contest not only from the BJP but also the SP-BSP combine in the upcoming elections.
In his first comments on Priyanka’s political plunge, Rahul Gandhi said, “My sister is very capable and she will work alongside me. I am personally very happy.” Describing Scindia and Priyanka as “powerful,” Rahul added that the party wanted “young leaders to change UP politics.”
Reacting to the appointment, the BJP said the Congress is promoting dynasty politics. Spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “They consider family as the party while BJP considers party as the family.” He added that Priyanka’s decision to foray into politics is a sign of “Rahul Gandhi’s failure” as a leader. “After Rahul’s failure in getting everybody on board in the Opposition’s alliance, the Congress party needed a crutch,” he said.