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From campaigner to Congress candidate, 5 crucial occasions during Priyanka Gandhi's political journey

52-year-old Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, whose name did the rounds as the Congress candidate for Amethi, Rae Bareli as well as Varanasi parliamentary seats before the Lok Sabha elections 2024, is finally set to begin her innings in electoral politics from Wayanad in Kerala.

Written By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 New Delhi Updated on: June 18, 2024 16:39 IST
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
Image Source : INDIA TV Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Congress leader and sister of former party president Rahul Gandhi, is set to make her debut in electoral politics. Since her entry into active politics in 2019, Priyanka was projected as a possible challenger to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Rumours even circulated that she might challenge the PM from Varanasi in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Additionally, a few Congress leaders wanted her to run from the family's pocket borough of Rae Bareli, which is held by mother and Congress veteran Sonia Gandhi, who relocated to the Rajya Sabha prior to the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections. 

Notably, the Congress's decision to field her from Kerala's Wayanad, the parliamentary seat that her elder brother Rahul Gandhi won for two consecutive terms, is seen as a significant move to rest the party's power around the Gandhi family or endorsing critics' claim that Gandhi family is the axis of Congress.

With her entry into the electoral polity, three key members of the Gandhi family - Sonia Gandhi and her both children - will be at the helm of the grand old party. The presence of Gandhi siblings in the Lok Sabha (as she is likely to win in the Wayanad seat) will draw the Opposition's criticism over dynastic politics, on the other side, she will be one of the strongest voices from Congress in the lower house, strengthening party battle against the government in the Parliament. 

However, her supporters waited for 4 years for her entry into electoral politics. The grand old party appointed her general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, a politically significant part of the state in September 2020.

In the last four years, Priyanka displayed remarkable manoeuvres against the BJP government in UP and at the Centre on several occasions. Here are five occasions:

April 13, 2018: Perhaps this was one of her first outings as a protester. While participating in Rahul Gandhi-led midnight march at India Gate, Priyanka was shoved by the crowd. The march was held against the Kathua and Unnao rape incidents. 

March 2019: Ahead of the significant Lok Sabha elections in 2019, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra organised a 'boat' campaign on the Ganga to unite Congress supporters along the river. Her 140-kilometer boat ride was intended to boost the party's electoral prospects in the state. Although she generated a lot of media attention with her unusual boat ride campaign on the Ganga between Prayagraj and Mirzapur, her party's electoral fortunes did not improve.

December 28, 2019: December is a chilly month, but because of widespread demonstrations against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), it was extremely hot in the political sphere. When Priyanka chose to join the demonstrators in Lucknow, she was halted. The resolute Congress leader avoided the Lucknow Police and arrived at the Indiranagar home of SR Darapuri, a former IPS officer who is now an activist. After riding a scooty, she marched on foot to get past security. During the CAA protests in 2019–20, her defiance of the government made headlines for several days.

October 05, 2021: Priyanka Gandhi was arrested and put in the Sitapur guest house which was turned into a temporary jail during protests against Union Minister Ajay Misra after his son Ashish Misra's convoy allegedly killed eight people. The police filed an FIR against protestsrs, including Priyanka.

August 05, 2022: Priyanka Gandhi was detained by the Delhi Police when she staged a sit-in as part of the Congress's nationwide protest against price rise, the GST hike on essential items and unemployment outside Congress headquarters in the national capital.

ALSO READ | Priyanka Gandhi should be in Parliament before me, says husband Robert Vadra on her poll debut


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