Priyanka Gandhi to Make Lok Sabha Election Debut from South India? Pros & Cons of Going the Indira Way – News18

Reported By: Pallavi Ghosh
Edited By: Nitya Thirumalai
Last Updated: December 26, 2023, 11:49 IST
New Delhi, India
How well will it bode for the Congress if Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, heirs of its first family, enter Parliament from the south? (PTI/File)
It would have been a minor post-poll reshuffle in the Congress organisation if not for one omission that has led to burning speculation, the kind of which is seen only once every five years – has Priyanka Gandhi Vadra not been given charge of any state despite being retained as a General Secretary because she’s making her electoral debut in 2024 Lok Sabha elections?
According to sources, the top leadership of the Congress does not want to be caught missing any trump card that could be used to challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi in General Elections. Given its success in Telangana and Karnataka where Priyanka Gandhi was the most aggressive during campaigning, the top brass likely sees her as that trump card.
Top sources in the Congress, however, indicated that it may not be a direct Modi vs Priyanka contest in Varanasi as suggested by INDIA bloc constituent and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee. Insiders, in fact, suggested that the party may not go with such suggestions by other parties and even allies
The Congress is on a sticky wicket in Uttar Pradesh. Its erstwhile bastion of Amethi as well as Rae Bareli are no longer assured wins. Neither can be the sure footing Priyanka Gandhi needs for a successful electoral debut. Priyanka Gandhi was earlier the General Secretary in-charge of UP but that charge has been given to Avinash Pande in the latest reshuffle. Though she is part of the manifesto committee, Priyanka is no longer in-charge of any state, leaving her to focus on Lok Sabha elections.
South is where success may lie for Priyanka Gandhi. In fact, southern India has been the setting for the political revival and springboard wins of Indira Gandhi (Medak in undivided Andhra Pradesh and Chikkamagaluru in Karnataka), and Sonia Gandhi (Bellary in Karnataka). The Telangana unit of the party feels Priyanka should contest the Lok Sabha elections from the state as it would help the party in Andhra Pradesh Assembly polls too.
The only drawback of the plan is that Rahul Gandhi is an MP from the south too – Wayanad in Kerala. How well will it bode for the party if both heirs of its first family enter Parliament from the south? Will it convey the impression that while the BJP is a national party that is building its base in the south too, the Congress is now a southern entity?
It won’t be an easy decision for the Congress and Priyanka Gandhi.


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