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Panic and Confusion in BJP over Priyanka's Entry, Claims Congress

Congress leaders asserted that Priyanka's entry in active politics will provide the "much-needed morale boost" to its workers in the politically crucial state.

PTI

Updated:January 24, 2019, 10:14 PM IST
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Panic and Confusion in BJP over Priyanka's Entry, Claims Congress
File Photo. The Congress focus on projecting Priyanka Gandhi is to give an otherwise demoralised and defunct cadre in UP something to cheer about. (PTI photo)

New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday said there is panic and confusion within the BJP ever since Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was appointed as a general secretary for Uttar Pradesh.

Congress leaders asserted that Priyanka's entry in active politics will provide the "much-needed morale boost" to its workers in the politically crucial state especially after it was left out by regional players Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party while forging their alliance.

Many in the party have already started comparing Priyanka to Indira Gandhi and posters have been put up at various places in Uttar Pradesh welcoming her appointment. A former Congress legislator from Varanasi even suggested that she contest from Varanasi against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha polls.

Congress leaders feel that being general secretary of the party, her entry in the highest decision making body of the party, CWC, will help bring in more coordination at the highest level and will help Rahul Gandhi in "good decision making".

"Congress workers are now banking on Priyanka's charm offensive and hope she draws huge crowds that get translated into votes," said a senior Congress leader while hoping that her entry would help the party bag more seats.

Another young leader termed it "a right step" that could prove a "turning point" for the party's electoral fortunes.

"Ever since Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been appointed as the general secretary of the Congress party, BJP is in panic, confusion and desperation," Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said on Thursday reacting tersely to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan's remarks that Priyanka's entry into politics shows that Congress chief Rahul Gandhi "cannot handle politics alone and needs his sister's help".

"We would politely urge the Lok Sabha Speaker to focus her attention on the internal matters of the BJP. As far as Congress party is concerned, it is functioning well without her advice and will continue to do well," he told reporters.

Mahajan, when asked about Priyanka's entry, said in Indore, "Priyanka is a good woman. But her appointment also shows Rahul has understood that he cannot do politics alone, so he asked his sister Priyanka to help him."

"I don't want to get into the family politics of the Congress, it's their own matter. But I would definitely say that a person, who has leadership capabilities, should be given an opportunity to come forward," she said.

The BJP has also asserted that Priyanka's formal entry in active politics will have no impact on Lok Sabha polls. Union Minister and BJP leader Manoj Sinha said Priyanka's appointment may have generated a buzz in the media but it has drawn no response from the region of which she has been made in-charge by her party.

Priyanka's appointment is an attempt by the Congress to gain some importance in the state as it was in a "bad shape" after being left out of the SP-BSP alliance, he said.

Party workers feel that Priyanka's personality would woo voters, especially the youth, as she has been a crowd puller while campaigning in Rae Bareli and Amethi. At the same time many from the old guard are hoping that the Gandhi scion will help revive the emotional connect of voters with the party as she appears in many ways similar to her grandmother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi.

However, sceptics consider it a "gamble" by Rahul Gandhi and say only time will tell if it has paid off.

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