Dimple and Priyanka May Emerge as Face of SP-Congress Campaign
File photo of Dimple Yadav and Priyanka Gandhi
Lucknow: Unfazed by ongoing feud within the Samajwadi Party, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is busy planning the campaign strategy for the upcoming election.
Sources say an aliance between the Akhilesh-led faction of the Samajwadi Party and the Congress is being worked out. A key aspect of this tie-up could well be the enhanced participation of Akhilesh's wife and Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav and Congress's star campaigner Priyanka Gandhi.
Both women are not new to electoral politics — Dimple is a lawmaker from Kannauj and Priyanka has been the campaign incharge for her mother and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and brother Rahul. However, it will be a bigger and more intense role for the two in the upcoming polls. Sources close to Akhilesh say that the CM and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will very soon announce an alliance. Dimple and Priyanka will likely grace the event.
The decision to rope in Dimple and Priyanka for campaigning has larger political calculations behind it. Priyanka has a star value and is known for her sharp political sense and ability to connect with voters. The Congress party has been for years now urging for a larger role for her in politics. Priyanka, however, has chosen to limit her participation family bastions Raibareli and Amethi.
Uttar Pradesh Congress spokesperson Amarnath Agarwal says that if Priyanka Gandhi goes in for an aggressive campaign, it will indeed be a big boost for the party's poll prospects. The decision, however, rests entirely with Priyanka.
Dimple Yadav, on the other hand, comes across less politically aggressive, who fits the portrait of an ideal wife and bahu in Indian politics. She has been content with occupying the back seat; someone for whom politics may be a task at hand but family remain priority. It is this persona, which many believe attracts voters, especially women.
Lucknow-based senior journalist Suman Gupta says Dimple looks and behaves like a common bahu of a normal Hindu family. "As husband and wife, Akhilesh and Dimple stand out as an ideal couple. She gives a sense of completeness to Akhilesh. In politics, the image of an ideal, happy couple can bring in lot of dividends."
Dimple's tryst with electoral campaign is not knew. During 2014 elections, she had taken time out to venture out of her constituency to campaign for a few other seats. This time, it's different. With her husband embroiled in a power tussle with father Mulayam weeks before polls, it will be a challenge to build the momentum.
While Akhilesh and Rahul together hope of reaping electoral gains through a "secular alliance", it's Priyanka and Dimple who will shoulder the burden of an electoral campaign.