In a surprise development, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the daughter of former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, was on Wednesday appointed the party's General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh East. Soon after her appointment, reactions started coming in, with people comparing Priyanka Gandhi to her grandmother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi, one of the strongest political figures in the history of independent India.
After the announcement, the Congress workers were seen celebrating in Raebareli. As per the news agency ANI, the Congress supporters were heard shouting slogans like "Priyanka Gandhi aandhi hai, doosri Indira Gandhi hai". "Congratulations to #prinyankagandhi on the achievement of General Secretary of UP EAST. She always reminds me of the "IRONLADY" Indira Gandhi!! All my best wishes @INCIndia @RahulGandhi," tweeted a user. Another user called her the "21st century Indira Gandhi". "Rahul-Priyanka combination will make India vibrant again while BJP will start vibrating," he tweeted.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi said he was personally happy that she would now work with him, adding that the BJP was rattled after the development.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Priyanka Gandhi: Mujhe personally bahut khushi ho rahi hai ki woh ab mere saath kaam karengi, woh bahut karmat hain. Jyotiraditya Scindia bhi bahut dynamic leader hain. BJP wale ghabraaye hue hain. pic.twitter.com/8QpfJjJdO3- ANI (@ANI) January 23, 2019
Political leaders also welcomed the move. "One of the most awaited entries in Indian politics is finally here! While people may debate the timing, exact role and position, to me, the real news is that she finally decided to take the plunge! Congratulations and best wishes to Priyanka Gandhi," tweeted the JD(U) leader and political strategist Prashant Kishore.
One of the most awaited entries in Indian politics is finally here! While people may debate the timing, exact role and position, to me, the real news is that she finally decided to take the plunge! Congratulations and best wishes to Priyanka Gandhi.- Prashant Kishor (@PrashantKishor) January 23, 2019
The move to induct Priyanka Gandhi could give a much-needed boost to the Congress party in a state that sends maximum members of Parliamentarians to the Lok Sabha. Two big political parties in the state, SP and BSP, have already ditched the Congress for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, but Priyanka's induction could make it a three-way contest in UP where the party has said it'll contest all 80 seats.
With the 2019 Lok Sabha elections just a few months away, the Congress party's plan to go the whole hog in UP also sends a positive signal to the already upbeat Congress party workers after the grand old party's big wins in three Hindi heartland states, including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Though Priyanka had stayed away from entering politics until now, she had campaigned for her brother and Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
Meanwhile, the Congress party has also appointed KC Venugopal as AICC General Secretary (organisation). Jyotiraditya Scindia has been made AICC General Secretary for UP West, whereas Ghulam Nabi Azad has been made General Secretary, Haryana. Priyanka will take over as AICC General Secretary for UP East in the first week of February.
Edited by Manoj Sharma