BJP dubs Priyanka challenge ‘failure’ of Rahul Gandhi
The BJP had made alleged financial wrong doings in real estate deals by her husband Robert Vadra one of the main issues in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections
The BJP’s official position notwithstanding, Priyanka’s appointment as general secretary incharge of eastern UP may force the party and PM Modi to tweak their strategy in ‘poorvanchal’, which includes the PM’s constituency Varanasi. Till now, Priyanka had worked informally within the Congress and though she played a key role as Rahul’s confidante and advisor, she confined herself to campaigning only in Rae Bareli and Amethi.
Union minister and UP poll incharge JP Nadda said Priyanka’s appointment is the “first official declaration by the Congress that Rahul Gandhi has failed”. Describing Congress as a “household company”, Nadda asked Rahul to clarify his views on “parivarwadi soch (dynastic thinking)”.
Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “Priyanka ji has become general secretary, good luck to her. Since that party is a family concern, these kinds of postings are nothing unusual, except to ask why has she been given a limited role of only eastern UP? Perhaps, her persona merited a wider role.” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra alleged the Congress treats “the family as the party, while BJP treats party as one family”.
Union minister Harsimrat Badal of SAD, a BJP ally, said: “It is a stamp by Congress and Rahul Gandhi on his utter failure. No gatbandhan is wanting to shake hands with the Congress in any state. They had to play this eastern UP card to insure Rahul and Sonia ji’s seat.”
Priyanka’s new responsibility means that she will not limit herself to the family pocket boroughs of Rae Bareli and Amethi, but will also take on the BJP and Modi in Varanasi and other districts of eastern UP. She may have an impact in some seats and this would benefit both the Congress and SP (the two are not allies, but have a common foe in the BJP). Her attack on BJP is likely to get national traction.
The BJP had made alleged financial wrong doings in real estate deals by her husband Robert Vadra one of the main issues in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. While the party may revive that campaign, Priyanka and Congress may use the barbs to gain sympathy.