The 5 key takeaways from Priyanka Gandhi’s formal entry into politics:
1) Rahul Gandhi’s Batting at Front Foot Now
This is one of the biggest risks taken by the Congress in Indian politics. Rahul Gandhi says, “My sister is capable and hard-working and will work with me". With high hopes indeed, Rahul Gandhi welcomes his sister’s entry. The Congress has taken a huge gamble by getting Priyanka into the field from Eastern UP.
She was always there. But it’s formal now. (Photo: AP/file)
In Uttar Pradesh, all 80 seats are absolutely crucial, as this is the state which decides the future road for the Lok Sabha Election. This is clearly a fight which the Congress doesn`t want to take on the backfoot at any point now.
2) Future of SP-BSP alliance in UP - Will the Congress bargain more?
With Akhilesh and Mayawati undermining the Congress in UP, leaving only the Amethi and Raebareli seats to the Grand Old Party, the entry of Priyanka must have shaken the hitherto-strong alliance of the ‘Bua and Babua’ team.
How will the entry of Priyanka impact them? (Photo: PTI/file)
Rahul Gandhi has indicated the alliance will be cooperative, with the remark, “will pitch in wherever and whenever to put the BJP down". All eyes on Maya and Akhilesh now.
3) BJP stunned by Priyanka's entry, calls it ‘Rahul's failure’
Priyanka Gandhi’s formal entry to politics will be understood and evaluated in different ways. But this has certainly stunned the BJP, which was waiting to take on the SP-BSP combine only in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP is scared, says Rahul Gandhi. The BJP itself is calling this indicative of a failure as Rahul, the saffron party says, didn`t succeed in getting UP in his stride.
Has the Chanakya of Indian politics met a brahmastra? (Photo: PTI/file)
But whether they snidely call Priyanka’s entry a ‘Rajya-abhishek’ or something else, it is certain that the BJP needs to fight with far stronger strategies to counter this Brahmastra.
4) Priyanka vs Modi in Eastern UP
It is very important that Priyanka has been appointed eastern UP General Secretary — PM Modi had fought the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Varanasi and influenced Purvanchali voters. This also has implications in Delhi, where several Purvanchali voters decided the fate of the BJP. Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari, who has become president on the basis of his known credentials of influencing Purvanchali voters, would know the potential impact of this move.
The UP vote, which resonates all the way to Delhi. (Photo: PTI/file)
Shiela Dixit will also have a great deal to depend on following this.
5) Will a straying Mahagathbandhan come back to the Congress' fold?
Following reports of recent troubles in the Bihar alliance with the RJD and setbacks in Andhra Pradesh with Chandrababu Naidu not giving much to the Congress, the party will have a lot to talk about now. Will Priyanka Gandhi enthuse and up the game in other states too?
Will the Congress take back the reins of command in its hands now? (Photo: PTI/file)
Will this spill over to the grand alliance strategy of the Congress?
All options look increasingly possible and this time, it is the Congress that has changed the electoral game.