NEW DELHI: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s entry into active politics from the Congress’ old bastion of eastern Uttar Pradesh is a well-planned strategy, say experts.
Anand Bhavan in Allahabad, considered the de facto capital of the region, served as the operational headquarters for the grand old party during its peak. So, is the entry of the latest Gandhi scion from the region a sign of shifting the party’s operation core?
“Priyanka’s entry from Eastern UP is just symbolic. The party just needs a place for her entry. She is bound to play a greater role in the party not only in the region but also outside it. She is going to be as important as Rahul himself,” Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, political analyst and author of ‘Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times’, said.
Sudha Pai of JNU took a more cautious approach. “She has been put in the lion’s den. The region is a Modi-Yogi stronghold. However, it remains to be seen how much she can enthuse the party in the region. She will play a bigger role than eastern UP in the party’s decisions. So, the region from where she has been chosen appears to be a well-calculated strategy,” she said.
Jai Mrug of VMR, however, echoed Mukhopadhyay’s view and said the Congress chose Eastern UP for Priyanka in their bid to woo the BJP’s core upper caste vote bank. “The region is a Bhumiyar stronghold. The Congress, by fielding Priyanaka, is planning to make some of the traditional BJP voters, who may be former Congress loyalists, come back to their fold. Hence, the calculated move to field her from the region,” Mrug said.
However, the big question is; will this move pay off for the grand old party? Experts say the move is a game changer and will surely pay off.
“This is a calculated move by the Congress. Apart from infusing life into the party cadre in the region, it will also infuse strength into the party outside the borders of eastern UP. Priyanka is a charismatic individual and will help amalgamate loyal voters,” Mukhopadhyay, said.
“Most of the Congress loyalists had been consolidated by the SP-BSP alliance. However, now, with Priyanka’s entry, they will come back to the Congress hitting the SP-BSP hard. The real benefactor may turn out to be the BJP,” Mrug said.