Hours after Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was appointed as Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East on Wednesday, the BJP attacked Rahul Gandhi, saying the party president has opted for a “family alliance”, after facing “rejection” from various parties of the proposed Mahagathbandhan.
The BJP said that Priyanka Vadra’s formal entry into the Congress is an admission by the party that Rahul Gandhi has “failed” in providing leadership.
“The Congress has basically publicly announced that Rahul Gandhi has failed and needs crutches from within the family. Because of his rejection by grand alliance parties, he has opted for a family alliance,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said.
He said it was natural that the opposition party had to “coronate” somebody from within the family and added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has projected the Lok Sabha elections as a battle between “naamdar” (dynasts) and “kaamdar” (those who have worked).
The BJP leader said that the new India is asking the question, that who will be the next leader in the Congress as he referred to its succession line from Jawaharlal Nehru to Indira Gandhi followed by Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
“All appointments are from one family. And this is the fundamental difference between the Congress and the BJP. In the Congress, the family is party. In the BJP, the party is family,” Patra said, taking a dig at the opposition party.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also reacted, saying such postings are nothing unusual since the party (Congress) is a family concern. However, he wondered why Priyanka was given “limited role of only Eastern UP”. “Priyanka ji has become General Secretary, my good-luck to her. Since party is a family concern, these kinds of postings are nothing unusual, except to say with a caveat, why she has been given limited role of only Eastern UP? Perhaps her persona merited a wider role for her,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) also targeted the Congress over Priyanka Gandhi’s appointment. Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said the move is a “stamp by Congress and Rahul Gandhi on his utter failure”. “The fact that no ‘gathbandhan’ is wanting to shake hands with Congress in any state, they were becoming irrelevant, they had to play this Eastern UP card, to insure Rahul & Sonia Ji’s seats,” she was quoted as saying by ANI.
However, JD(U) vice president Prashant Kishor described the appointment as “one of the most awaited entries in Indian politics”. “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,” Kishor said in a tweet. He had worked with the Congress in Uttar Pradesh as a poll strategist before joining the Janata Dal (United).
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
Maharashtra Congress President Ashok Chavan hailed Priyanka’s formal entry into politics saying her appointment as an AICC general secretary augurs well for the party in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh.
Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath also appreciated the appointments of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Jyotiraditya Scindia as general secretaries and said it will give a big boost to the party’s prospects in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Congress President Rahul Gandhi has appointed his sister Priyanka as AICC general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East and Scindia as general secretary for UP West.