Numbers Show Uttar Pradesh Campaign Will be Priyanka Gandhi's Baptism by Fire
Priyanka Gandhi's official entry into the political arena suggests that Congress is banking on her charisma to revive itself in a region, where it has been struggling to make any real political inroads in recent years.
Congress recently named Priyanka Gandhi as its general secretary in charge of east Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress party cadre in Uttar Pradesh sees the entry of Priyanka Gandhi into active politics — as the general secretary for eastern UP — as a game changer ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Priyanka's official entry into the political arena suggests that Congress is banking on her charisma to revive itself in a region, where it has been struggling to make any real political inroads in recent years.
She has been thrown directly in the UP dangal and will be pitched directly against the the BJP's two biggest faces - Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose constituency is Varanasi and chief minister Yogi Adityanath, whose political home is Gorakhpur.
Then there is the challenge posed by the regional powerhouses SP and BSP, who left Congress out of the alliance. That this will be a mammoth task for her is borne by the numbers.
An analysis by News18 of the election data reveals that out of the 30 Lok Sabha seats in the Purvanchal region of UP, Congress failed to win a single seat in 2014. Similarly, in 201 Assembly elections, the party was able to win just 7 seats across the state.
The numbers remained daunting even at the state level, as in 2012, the grand-old party managed to win a meagre 12 seats out of the 141 Assembly seats in the region and could only return one MLA in the year 2017.
However, with Priyanka in-charge, Congress is hoping to put up direct a challenge to BJP heavyweights in various regions of the state, such as MoS Manoj Sinha from Ghazipur, Kalraj Mishra from Deoria, Varun Gandhi from Sultanpur, Anupriya Patel from Mirzapur and UP CM and star-campaigner Yogi Adityanath from Gorakhpur.
As far as her previous electoral achievements are concerned, she has been the nurturer of Congress bastions of Amethi and Rae Bareli for many years now. In the 2007 Assembly polls, she campaigned in 10 constituencies that come under Amethi and Rae Bareli, out of which, the Congress won seven.
But In 2012 Assembly polls, Congress got a drubbing and managed to win only one seat under Amethi and Rae Bareli area, despite Priyanka’s target of a 10 out of 10.
Congress leaders say Priyanka Gandhi's plunge into active party politics will galvanise the ranks to make them prepared for the massive dual challenge posed by the BJP and the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh.
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