In the 2022 UP assembly elections, Congress fielded candidates on all 403 seats under the leadership of Priyanka after 30 years. With the slogan ‘I am a girl, I can fight,’ Priyanka gave tickets to 40% of women. But in the initial trends of UP, Congress seems to be getting success in only 4 seats out of 403 seats.
At present, all the 142 female candidates selected by Priyanka are trailing in the initial trends. In the next 2 to 3 hours, it will be clear how successful the Congress strategy was to bring Priyanka forward. But before that it is necessary to know that why the Congress, which had been keeping the trump card for almost two decades, suddenly had to enter the political arena.
This story begins with the 2004 Lok Sabha elections.
Year 2004: Priyanka’s name came for the first time in politics
Priyanka did her schooling in the Modern School of Delhi. Then studied Psychology from JMC College, Delhi. In 1997, she got married to businessman Robert Vadra. In 2004, after 7 years of marriage, Priyanka’s name first resonated in the corridors of politics. Senior journalist Rashid Kidwai in his book 24 Akbar Road I have told about this in detail.
Priyanka Gandhi campaigning for mother Sonia in 2004.
Kidwai wrote, “The year was 2004. There were Lok Sabha elections in the country. Sonia was going from place to place holding rallies. Then Priyanka also went on many platforms for the first time to campaign for her mother. Seeing Priyanka’s belligerence, political experts started saying that she would become a big leader of the country like grandmother Indira.
It is also written in the book that in the initial phase of this election, the condition of Congress was looking slim. Then an ad agency was kept at the behest of Priyanka. Congress got the benefit of this later.
Year 2009: When campaigned in Amethi-Rae Bareli, women said – Indira came again on the doorstep
Priyanka reached Amethi to meet Congress workers by driving a car with Rahul. The picture is from 2009.
Congress had given Priyanka the responsibility of campaigning in Rae Bareli and Amethi in the Lok Sabha elections. In this election, Priyanka roamed from village to village. He also held foot rallies on the road. When Priyanka reached a village in Gauriganj for campaigning on April 20, women surrounded her. A woman put her hand on his cheek and said, “The cost is that Indira has come to the village.” This was the period when the public started seeing a glimpse of her grandmother Indira in Priyanka’s face.
Year 2014: Priyanka’s speech became a political issue
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when Sonia and Rahul were campaigning in the rest of the country. Priyanka was handling Amethi and Rae Bareli. During this, he made a big statement on Narendra Modi on 5 May 2014. He said, “Narendra Modi has insulted my martyr father on the land of Amethi, the people here will never forgive him. My booth workers will answer their vile politics.”
While campaigning for Smriti Irani in Amethi, PM Modi had said that when Rajiv Gandhi was the Congress General Secretary, he had openly abused the then Andhra Pradesh CM T Anjaiah at the airport. He was insulted. Anjaiah was the CM of Andhra from 1980 to 1982. On this statement, Priyanka replied on 5 May 2014.
Narendra Modi caught the despicable word said in this statement of Priyanka. Connected him to his caste. The matter increased so much that a police complaint was registered against Priyanka in Bihar. After this incident, political pundits started saying that Congress can soon bring Priyanka into active politics. But it didn’t happen.
By this time Priyanka got 3 big opportunities to get into active politics. But every time when asked about politics, Priyanka would say that for 15 years I have been saying that I will never enter politics. I am happy only with my children.
Year 2017: Before the assembly elections, Prashant Kishor said that Priyanka should be given the command of Congress… the party did not accept
11 May 2016, Day Wednesday, Congress’s election strategist Prashant Kishor made a big suggestion. He said that Priyanka Gandhi should be given the leadership of the Congress in the 2017 UP assembly elections. With Priyanka Gandhi becoming the in-charge in UP, the situation of Congress can improve.
In the 2017 UP assembly elections, if the advice to bring Priyanka forward was not accepted, angry Prashant started making distance from the Congress.
Prashant’s suggestion got the support of many senior Congress leaders. But in the 2017 assembly elections, this suggestion of Prashant was rejected by the Congress. The SP-Congress alliance was formed. During this, only Rahul and Akhilesh appeared on the stage. When the result came, the Congress had won only seven seats out of 114 seats, while the SP got 47 seats out of 311 seats.
The story is not over yet, in fact, the real story begins now…
Year 2019: After leaving the pavilion, Priyanka landed on the pitch of politics for the first time
23 January 2019, afternoon time, a press release came from the Congress side. In its third paragraph it was written that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been elected as the National General Secretary of Congress. He has been given the charge of Eastern UP. This was the first time that Priyanka had held any political position.
In the same press release issued by Ashok Gehlot in January 2019, it was written that Priyanka has been made the National General Secretary of Congress.
Congress lost badly in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, but politically, Priyanka’s strong face came in front of the people for the first time. Since then the Congress had decided that Priyanka would be given the responsibility of UP in the 2022 assembly elections.
Year 2022: With the slogan ‘I am a girl, I can fight’, Priyanka slams women and youth.
During the election campaign in the state, this time Priyanka had focused on women voters with full force. He gave tickets to 40% female candidates. In the assembly elections, Priyanka conducted 209 rallies and road shows for the victory of Congress candidates. During this, he surrounded the Yogi government from different forums on Lakhimpur violence, Hathras incident, employment and women’s safety.
Senior Congress leader PL Punia called Priyanka being given the command of UP as a masterstroke. Punia said that this decision will give new life to the Congress.
Senior journalist Vivek Gupta explains, “Priyanka’s leadership was seen in this election from the selection of candidates to the preparation of the manifesto. In this, issues focusing on women were kept. In the manifesto, ASHA-Anganwadi workers will get an honorarium of Rs 10,000, old age- There was talk of giving widow pension of Rs 1,000, reservation for 40% girls in government jobs. If you look at the manifesto of the Congress in the last assembly elections, you will not get such a detailed manifesto.”
Senior Congress leaders Ashok Gehlot, Bhupesh Baghel, Sachin Pilot also came and held rallies in UP. But Priyanka alone did 42 road shows. Till the last phase of campaigning, he held a total of 167 rallies and public meetings.
What was the condition of Congress in the assembly elections before Priyanka’s arrival
In UP, Congress has been searching for its lost ground for almost two and a half decades. The Congress had won 28 seats in the 2012 assembly elections. At the same time, in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, in the Modi wave, the Congress was limited to only two Lok Sabha seats in the state.
Sonia Gandhi meets snake charmers in Rae Bareli during the 2019 Lok Sabha campaign.
In the 2017 assembly elections, the Congress formed an alliance with the SP and contested 114 seats. Of these, it got success in only 7 seats. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress was able to save only its stronghold Rae Bareli. During this, Priyanka was campaigning in Rae Bareli.
What will be the impact on Priyanka’s political journey?
Senior journalist and political expert Kumar Bhavesh Chandra says, “Priyanka had experimented with giving tickets to 40% women before the elections. He doesn’t seem to be going in favor of Congress. People whose goal was to remove Yogi in the election, they voted for SP instead of Congress for fear of splitting votes. Because Akhilesh was seen fighting with more force against the BJP than Priyanka. This had an effect on the vote graph of the Congress. ,
Bhavesh further says, “Looking through other lenses, these elections have also shown Priyanka’s political maturity to the Congress. The political understanding of Priyanka herself has increased more than before. Therefore, the Congress will continue to take Priyanka’s support in the coming elections as well. It won’t make much difference to his political career.”