Priyanka Gandhi Vadra taking active role in internal Congress polls, sources say – Flying Journals

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra taking active role in internal Congress polls, sources say

Some leaders want Priyanka Gandhi to run for Congress, the sources said. (document)

New Delhi:

The parliamentary election to elect a new president is the first in more than 20 years without a Gandhi family member. But apparently, they didn’t let go completely. Contrary to public perception, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had a positive interest in the election, sources said.

Rahul Gandhi, who resigned from the top job after the party’s humiliating defeat in two consecutive general elections, made the election necessary by refusing to run. He also insisted that his mother and sister stay away from party polls, sources said.

However, senior party leaders who wanted to see organisational reform spoke of Ms Gandhi Vadra’s role in the election.

The 50-year-old, who joined the party in January 2019 and was named general secretary of Uttar Pradesh, is trying to secure a suitable candidate for the presidency, they said.

The search has been made harder by the crisis in Rajasthan, with loyalties to Mr Gallot’s MLA threatening to resign if their statement on the state’s next chief minister is not accepted. Mr Gehlot, a longtime loyalist of the Gandhi family, is leading the election in which his rival is Shashi Tharoor.

Rajasthan chief minister met Sonia Gandhi tonight, apologised and announced he would not run for parliamentary elections, as Gandhi was so unhappy with the party’s public “humiliation” and Mr Gallot’s role.

Sources say it was Ms Gandhi Vadra’s involvement in Rajasthan, which was meant to put the Sachin pilot in the top job, which sparked the crisis in the state.

When the Sachin Pilot rebelled two years ago, Ms Gandhi Vadra helped defuse the crisis through her intervention. This time, she hopes Mr Pilot will have a chance to lead the government and lead it to next year’s parliamentary elections.

While one part of the party has insisted that Rahul Gandhi lead them, another part is keen for Ms Gandhi Vadra to run for party leadership in internal elections, sources said.

When Rahul Gandhi resigned as party chairman in 2019, he made it clear to Congress that the Gandhi family should not be expected to take the lead and find a replacement from the ranks.

He also explicitly asked leaders not to see his mother and sister as his replacements, the sources said. “Don’t drag my sister in… There is no need for the president to be from the Gandhi family,” he said at one of many party meetings to persuade him to reconsider his decision.

Eventually, Sonia Gandhi had to take over as interim president, as many leaders insisted that without Gandhi at the helm, Congress would be further weakened.

But it didn’t stop the downward spiral. Over the past three years, Congress has lost a series of state elections. Many key leaders have gone to withdraw due to repeated delays in organizing elections.

Since independence, Congress has mainly been led by members of the Nehru-Gandhi family. Under a rare non-Gandhi leader like Sitaram Kesri, its performance has been lacklustre. Mrs Gandhi took over from Sitaram Kesri in March 1998 – two years after Narasimha Rao’s government was rejected and the party was at one of its lowest points.

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