Priyanka, 47, was appointed AICC general secretary of Eastern Uttar Pradesh on January 23 this year, marking her formal entry into politics. The party is hoping that the move will boost its prospects in the politically crucial state which sends 80 MPs to Lok Sabha.
“She (Priyanka) is a very impressive lady, who speaks well, speaks with confidence, idiomatic and fluent Hindi. She is very comfortable in public gaze and reminds a lot of people of her grandmother,” Tharoor said when asked about Priyanka Gandhi’s formal plunge into politics.
“That’s on the very upbeat side. Perhaps more modestly one should say, she is at the moment general secretary for one-half of Uttar Pradesh. And that’s going to be her karma-bhoomi. That’s where she will be working in the immediate prospect. But in long term I think her influence in the party is bound to grow and her popularity among the people has already been established,” Tharoor told PTI in an exclusive interview.
Priyanka recently launched the party’s polls campaign in eastern UP with her three-day ‘Ganga yatra’ on boat, where she reached out to voters residing along the banks of the holy river.
On the poll alliances of the Congress in various states, Tharoor said it varies from state to state. “Each state has got a different logic. We have possible alliance with some parties in some states and are fighting against them in another state,” he said. There was nothing wrong in the adjustments made between the Congress and the CPI(M) in West Bengal, he said.
While both the parties are engaged in a bitter fight in Kerala, the national leadership has agreed to some adjustments in West Bengal. The BJP has been using this to accuse the two parties of “double standards”. “There is nothing wrong with that and it’s not the first time. In 2016 Kerala Assembly election, they (state BJP) tried the same argument. But we had a bitter fight against them. In 2011 elections, that was not much an issue because the CPI(M) and the Congress were fighting each other in Bengal also. But today, each state is reacting to its own political reality. And the political reality in Bengal is very much different from the political reality of Kerala,” Tharoor
Tharoor, who has been fielded from Thiruvananthapuram again, said the post-poll scenario will be more interesting as there are parties who are running independently but after the polls they are far more likely to support the Congress than the BJP.