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4-min read

No Sibling Rivalry: Priyanka Gandhi Timed Political Entry to Avoid Becoming Second Power Centre

There is no denying the fact that she loves politics. Nothing excites her more than discussing politics, giving her opinion, albeit, to a very few. She has very strong views and doesn’t hesitate to air them.

Pallavi Ghosh | CNN-News18_pallavighosh

Updated:February 5, 2019, 3:15 PM IST
No Sibling Rivalry: Priyanka Gandhi Timed Political Entry to Avoid Becoming Second Power Centre
Priyanka Gandhi is reportedly Rahul’s closest confidante.

New Delhi: At 12 Tughlak Lane, Rahul Gandhi and his team seemed to have reached a dead end over selecting the new chief minister of Rajasthan and how to balance the two power centres emerging in the state.

Suddenly, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra drove into her brother’s residence. And soon a decision was arrived at. While party sources clarified that Priyanka was not the one who took the final call, the fact that she was present and worked with her brother to ensure a compromise speaks for itself.

In fact, Priyanka is reportedly Rahul’s closest confidante as well. He has publicly and even in private, accepted that she is his best friend.

Rahul is aware that many would perceive her to be second power centre and has carefully built his team who work in tandem with both the Gandhis.

Coming to Priyanka, there is no denying the fact that she loves politics. Nothing excites her more than discussing politics, giving her opinion, albeit, to a very few. She has very strong views and doesn’t hesitate to air them.

Priyanka also loves to cook. Her signature dish is cupcakes and she doesn’t hesitate to offer them to those who visit her. In fact, she bakes and treats her team regularly. She is often personally seen shopping around Delhi’s markets for groceries and household stuff.

A hands-on mom, her children were the reason she stayed away from active politics. Whenever there were demands for her to enter active politics, Priyanka would excuse herself by saying she prefers to look after her children.

However, the reason also is that she and her family were waiting for the right time. Also, she was very clear that her children should not suffer the media glare or the perils of power.

That was one reason why she sent them away to a famed boarding school in Dehradun and made it a point to be actively involved and attend each of their events.

However, in the run up to the 2014 elections in which the Congress was voted out of power, the attacks on her husband Robert Vadra over controversial land deals had started growing.

A panic-stricken Priyanka called the then party’s media head to defend him. A mistake that was realised later given that he was not a part of the Congress and was a private businessman.

Over the years, as allegations against Vadra increased, many thought Priyanka would never join politics as there was a fear of him being arrested should she take the plunge. But again many read the situation wrong.

A determined Rahul and Priyanka agreed to fight on the front foot. Deciding to take the bull by its horns, she decided that she would not shy away from this fear and take her opponents head on. With her children grown up, politics at a critical state and Rahul having proved himself, she was game.

In private, when asked why the hesitation to join active politics despite her kids having grown up, Priyanka said she didn’t want anyone to assume that there would be two power centres.

The message had to be clear that Rahul was and is the boss. More importantly, it was also about the wait for an electoral success to prove Rahul’s capability.

Each time, the Congress faced a drubbing, the demand for Priyanka rose, much to the discomfort of the family, especially Priyanka. She didn’t want to rise on the fall of her brother. As it turned out, the Congress formed governments in three states and Rahul emerged as the winner.

And, his aggression on social media and readiness to speak and take questions gave the green signal that Priyanka could now join in.

The SP-BSP alliance also expedited the process. Before leaving for Dubai, Rahul made up his mind about his sister. He gave a hint to some of his colleagues that there would a 440-volt announcement and he had a plan in place.

Only the time was to be chosen. Priyanka was away in New York for personal work. Rahul decided he would make the announcement in Amethi.

A visit to her home gives you an insight into her personal sensibilities. Sipping her favourite jasmine tea, she readily offers the same at times, even serving it herself.

And if you are lucky, you’ll get a taste of her freshly baked cupcakes.

Deep into Buddhism, Priyanka will bring her personal style and touch into politics. Those who have watched her in Rae Bareily, have seen how she doesn’t hesitate to pull up her staff if they are rude to booth workers.

Also, she uses the same personal touch to ensure that disgruntled workers stay with the Congress. But with the same power, comes the responsibility and the fact, something she is aware of, that she will be watched keenly. The camera-friendly Priyanka wouldn’t want to be caught in a wrong frame.​

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