Mumbai: The formal entry of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra into politics was a “heartening moment” for Congress workers, said Ashok Chavan, president of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC). The Shiv Sena has pointed out that this development will make it harder for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to retain power. A senior Sena minister of state, speaking to newspersons on condition of anonymity, argued that the current public mood is very anti-BJP.
He said, “With the Congress now bringing Priyanka Gandhi Vadra into active electoral politics, it will be an uphill task for the BJP to retain power.” Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande described Priyanka as an “elite personality” and said old-timers would see the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi while voting in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Kayande said, “The Congress has strong reasons to rejoice because Priyanka, who until now, was on the periphery, will now be in the middle of campaigning.”
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“The party will benefit from her elite personality, the way she presents herself and her ability to strike a chord with the voters. She has the qualities of her grandmother,” Kayande said. Chavan said, “Priyanka is a good administrator and an experienced leader. Her contribution was also instrumental in the Congress’s successive victories in Amethi and Rae Bareli.” He added, “It is a heartening moment for all Congress workers. Under her able leadership, the Congress will definitely register an outstanding victory in UP,” he said. Mumbai Congress president and former Lok Sabha MP Sanjay Nirupam said Priyanka’s entry into politics will “strengthen” the hands of Rahul Gandhi.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesperson Nawab Malik said her formal induction into the party will enthuse party workers and the Congress will reap “special benefits” in Uttar Pradesh. “The alliance of the Samajwadi Party–Bahujan Samaj Party will not be majorly affected because they have a fixed vote bank of Yadavs, Dalits and Muslims. However, her clout will recharge party workers,” he said. Malik said if the Congress makes intelligent use of Priyanka’s charm, it will easily win 20-21 seats, repeating its performance of 21 seats in the 2009 general elections.