The Congress leader introduces a new model before the people for the change based on organisation and struggle on public issues, reports MUDIT MATHUR
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, 49, will determine the political destiny of oldest political party Congress. Conquered over mounting pressure of investigation agencies on her husband Robert Vadra, she assumed 24X7 leadership role in the most-troubled times after series of debacles in the states after states. In view of perceived reluctance of her brother Rahul Gandhi to take the reins of the party, she emerged now as rallying point for the Congress party.
Priyanka’s charismatic presence in the state capital reinforced new hopes in her cadres to occupy the vacuums of public discourse of opposition to BJP government. The regional political parties failed the people’s expectations to take their sufferings on the streets during acute distress pandemic mismanagement causing innumerable deaths without getting timely adequate medical aids.
Priyanka introduced a new model before the people for the change based on organisation and struggle on public issues. “Our strength is experience of senior leaders, enthusiasm of youths and struggle on public issues,” Priyanka gave this loud and clear massage addressing her party leaders and office bearers of its frontal organisations.
She warned the goons, who disrobed the democracy inflicting violence to pave the way for victory of BJP candidates by practicing unfair means, threats, coercion and mass scale organised violence while mute spectator police and administration turned blind eyes to enforce its duty of maintaining law and order. “Even women were not spared. Journalists were beaten. Ballot papers looted. Bombs, gun shots and stone plating hurled on opposition nominees,” she highlighted.
In her recent three days visit, she drove down to Lakhimpur Kheri and met two women — Ritu Singh and Anita Yadav, associated with the Samajwadi Party, who had been assaulted and humiliated during the nomination process for the block head (Pramukh) polls. The candidate was holding her nomination papers whose garments torn while her supporter’s saree was pulled in broad daylight. BJP workers have been accused in the case.
The state government suspended the entire police station the allegations of molestation surfaced in a viral video clip of the incident on social media provoking criticism for the administration from all quarters.
Expressing solidarity with the victimised women, Priyanka demanded holding a fresh election on all the rigged seats all over the state after annulling the same in order to restore the faith of the people in rule of law and democratic governance. “Can someone get 10 goons, beat up people and win elections? Is this our democracy today? Does Prime Minister Modi treats it victory of Yogi Adityanath while congratulating him for Panchayat polls?” quizzed Priyanka.
Priyanka was actively visible on the grounds when migrant workers crisis shocked the nation in the state 2020 to transport thousands of hapless barefoot marching daily wagers from Maharashtra but BJP government did not allow plying 500 buses arranged by her party from neighbouring Rajasthan boarder. Her party workers provided food packets and water on the roadside to help them.
Priyanka’s proactive role in the day-to-day political discourse of the most crucial north Indian state evidently upset the saffron camp. Right from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to every small and big BJP leader had dubbed Priyanka’s entry into active politics, “as extension of dynastic rule.” Social media trolling has been aimed at diminishing the sheen of her charismatic personality.
The biggest success of the Priyanka Gandhi has been overcoming her party from prevalent infighting between some of the prominent faces in the state. What the party needed desperately was a leader of stature with unquestionable authority and a face that could be taller than all. She intelligently handled tricky situation and united its faction ridden cadre under her umbrella. Priyanka is working overtime to win back traditional vote bank of Upper caste Hindus, Muslims, OBCs and Dalits targeting most backwards and Dalits.
Politically unpredictable Mayawati’s past alignments with the BJP continues to haunt in the minds of Muslims who still look at her with suspicion. Further, the manner in which Mayawati express her ferocity against Congress alienating Muslims from its fold. Her undue softness towards BJP rules at central and state sending shockwaves to her badly scattered cadre. Political circles believe that she is scared of on-going probe of corruption and disproportionate assets against her brother for amassing huge wealth from various projects of her regime.
The sudden fishing of one of the prominent Brahmin face of the state Congress party, Jitin Prasada, by BJP top leadership, reflects prevailing disillusionment of upper caste Brahmins with its top leadership. Priyanka at the helms of affairs it could come in handy for the Congress to woo back its traditional base. The legislative party leader Aradhna Mishra and her father Pramod Tiwari playing active supportive role with Priyanka campaigns.
Priyanka Gandhi associated herself to the plight of oppressed people and soon become symbol of struggle for justice and governance. She came to support Unnao rape victim where entire administration was dancing to the tunes of accused BJP MLA who was later arrested and convicted for the heinous crime. She was first to visit Hathras rape victim whose midnight cremation by the state police pouring
inflammatory liquid became international human rights issue of severe criticism. Even judiciary took suo- moto cognizance of unholy act.
In the last two years Priyanka never missed any occasion to corner BJP government to gain public sympathies for raising their voice. She took the administration to storm when in Sonbhadra district ten God tribals were shot dead in Umbha village allegedly by landlords to grab the possession from them where they were cultivating from last many decades. She went to meet an injured victim in the water submerged hutment in the middle of the farmland where heinous clash happened on July 17, 2019.
Congress party openly supported the demands of agitating farmers to repeal all the three farm laws and had been critical of the manner in which ruling party passed it in the parliament. Priyanka
Gandhi Vadra visited Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur to attend prayer meeting with the family of a farmer, Navreet Singh, who died in the clashes between the police and protesters during the farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day. His tractor overturned in ITO area of Delhi after ramming into a police barricade. The protesters, alleged that the police shot at his tractor during the clashes on January 26.
Offering prayers amid chanting of Vedic hymns in Vindhyawasini temple in Mirzapur her campaigning through boat ride from Prayagraj to Varanasi, the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It was meticulously planned to draw attention of the people who reside in the villages in six Lok Sabha constituencies along the banks of the Ganga and also in other parts of the state. These areas are most neglected in terms of implementation of flagship development programmes of the government where large population of Nishads, SC and OBC communities reside.
The Congress party has been evolving final strategies to go for its mission 2022 in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab with re- emergence of poll architect Prashant Kishor who could not pave his ways due to multiple power centres and deep- rooted factionalism. His poll plans fetched results in Punjab where he introduced Navjot Singh Sidhu in the Congress party. Now with Sidhu assuming the charge of Punjab Congress chief against the wishes of chief minister Amarinder Singh, could be part of a larger poll plan keeping Uttar Pradesh in the mind.
Poll strategist Prashant Kishor wanted to pitch Priyanka Gandhi as a chief ministerial face of the Congress to fetch dividends in last electoral battle but senior party leaders advised contrary keeping in mind the poor organisational structure at their hand. Now with a rejuvenated Congress party under her leadership Congress high command could allow Priyanka
Gandhi to be projected as chief ministerial face to counter BJP chief minister Yogi Adityanath whose popularity graph has become debatable after second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.
PRIYANKA GANDHI IN UP FOR TOURISM, NOT FOR PUBLIC SERVICE: SIDHARTH NATH SINGH
“PRIYANKA COMES TO UP only for tourism and she has no concern with the people of the state and their problems. After Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka is now going to United States as revealed by her while speaking with media on Sunday. This clearly shows that UP is also only a tourist destination for Priyanka,” MSME Minister Sidharth Nath Singh commented while talking media persons, targeting Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who is gearing up her party for upcoming assembly election in Uttar Pradesh.
Alleging Priyanka was absent when the state was reeling through the deadly Covid-19 wave, Singh said, “Since the beginning itself, Congress leaders pay attention to tours, whether it is Priyanka Vadra or her brother Rahul Gandhi. How will the people of UP trust the leaders who show their faces only for the state tour? That’s the reason the people of Uttar Pradesh have lost their faith in the Congress.”
Earlier, Singh attacked that Congress “is and will remain zero in Uttar Pradesh.” “I advise Priyanka to refrain from her gimmicks as the Congress is not going to be revived in UP,” he added.
“People are not ready to extend support to the Congress because of their anti-progressive attitude. Instead of giving constructive suggestions, the party is indulging in mudslinging against the state government for political mileage,” observed Singh.
“I AM 24X7 ACTIVE IN UTTAR PRADESH”: PRIYANKA
“I AM 24X7 ACTIVE in Uttar Pradesh and continuously struggling hard to rebuild my organisation at the village level that stood dismantled ever since our party lost power in the state. Our workers have come out on the streets during crisis time of pandemic to help needy people in troubled times. Our teams provided medical assistance, oxygen, medicines and arranged all humanitarian help to society at large,” revealed overwhelmed Priyanka
Gandhi, Congress General Secretary, during a roundtable interaction with “TEHELKA” and other prominent senior journos in the state capital.
“I am not a political tourist for Uttar Pradesh. The state belongs to us from many generations who martyred their lives for the freedom, peaceful coexistence, progress and national integration of our country,” snubbed Priyanka Gandhi to jibe of an organised trolling on social media from BJP ranks and file over her latest visit to Lucknow, after a gap of about one and a half year, branding her a nonserious player in the politics.
“We are used to such propaganda as we are dynasty product-lazy people but we have done some of the things silently on the ground. We know our shortcomings and challenges too,” she added saying, “we have streamlined our organisational strength.” “I will be available in the state until elections are over with a caveat that I will have to go abroad to drop my daughter to college in August,” she replied to a query about her availability in the state.
Priyanka frankly confessed that when she assumed the charge of Uttar Pradesh Congress party, it was in a shabby condition. The state executive committee itself had 500 members. It was difficult to meet and function with such a big team. We did prune off our team to get over prevailing lethargy weakening the party and reconstituted a practicable working committee. All the arsenal frontal organisations like Youth Congress, student wing NSUI, Mahila Congress, Farmers, SC-ST, OBC, Minorities, Media and RTI cell have been reactivated.
Sharing her personal experience about Amethi debacle in the last parliamentary elections, Priyanka remarked, “If there is no organisation at ground then campaign is meaningless. We had an emotional cord with the people with favourable opinion about the leader but basically what actually matters is who pulls them to the polling booths?”
Replying to a question about forging electoral alliance in the coming assembly elections in the state Priyanka made it clear, “Our aim is to get rid of totally failed BJP government that unleashed atrocities on the people. We are open minded not with closed mind but I will never compromise the interests of the party as we have worked round-the-clock to strengthen our party cadres at grassroots and never allow our efforts to go in veins.”
“We have already re-established our Block Congress committees and Nyay Panchayat committees and in a process to constitute village committees,” she added. On the question of contesting all the 403 assembly seats in the state or align with some political party she said, “It is too early to say anything.” “We have done the maximum work during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can see that we are the ones who have raised issues. Congress is no longer confined to garlanding photographs. Our party has been out of power for 30-32 years, and it became weak. However, full efforts have been made, and a lot of energy is visible,” she added.