LUCKNOW: Picking up the threads from Rahul Gandhi taking over as president of Indian National Congress, Uttar Pradesh Congressmen have started the exercise to bring Priyanka Gandhi to the forefront of active politics as they feel her charisma can revive the fortunes of the party which has reduced to a non-entity in Uttar Pradesh.
A bunch of Congressmen from Allahabad, the birthplace of former PMs Jawahar Lal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, have purportedly written to party high command to introduce Priyanka to electoral politics from Phulpur parliamentary constituency as the party candidate in the upcoming bypoll. Phulpur is considered to be a traditional seat of Nehru-Gandhi family.
Notably, Phulpur parliamentary seat is lying vacant after the resignation of the deputy chief minister of the state Keshav Prasad Maurya who was representing it in Lok Sabha. Maurya has now taken up Council membership. However, country’s first PM Jawahar Lal Nehru had won from Phulpur thrice in 1952, 57 and in 1962. After his death, his sister Vijay Laxmi Pandit won from this seat in the bypoll of 1964 and general election of 1967.
Interestingly, the Congressmen of Sangam city feel that the party stands a chance to bag the seat given a positive undercurrent seen in its favour in recently concluded Gujarat elections. “Congress party will be re-energised if Priyanka Gandhi accepts our proposal and decides to contest from Phulpur. First, she will have to take the primary membership of the party,” says UPCC spokesperson, Kishore Varshaney.
In fact, all the parties are in the process of deciding the strong and promising candidate to take on might BJP in Phulpur. Congress has also been weighing several options in this regard. Senior Congress member and party MP in Rajya Sabha Pramod Tiwari was also believed to be in the race for Phulpur by election.
However, the Congress party had set up a three-member panel for picking three names who could be fielded from the prestigious Lok Sabha seat. In a meeting of the district congress committee on Wednesday, consensus over the name of three potential candidates for Phulpur seat remained elusive and the final decision was left to the party president.
Batting for the candidature of Priyanka Gandhi to protect party’s prestige, Congress district president Anil Dwivedi said that if she accepted proposal, it would boost the morale of partymen. “Otherwise whosoever will be picked up by the party, every Congressmen will stand behind the candidate firmly ensuring that the party regained its lost glory,” added Dwivedi.