oppn parties Congress Needs More Than Priyanka in UP

News Snippets

  • Mediators tell the protestors in Shaheen Bagh that the Supreme Court will listen to them more keenly if they remove the roadblock and move to an alternate site
  • No headway by mediators in the Shaheen Bagh imbroglio. Protestors say adjoining roads are running fine.
  • After China objects to Home Minister Amit Shah's Arunachal visit, India says China has no business to comment on the issue as the state is an integral part of India
  • The OBC "creamy layer" to be changed by including salary as part of the income that will decide the threshold. This will lead to many more getting left out
  • RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat says the word "nationalism" should not be used now as it has acquired negative connotations
  • UP Sunni Central Wakf Board accepts the 5-acre plot given by the government to rebuild the Babri masjid as per the terms of the Supreme Court order
  • Two dalits thrashed and abused in Rajasthan's Nagaur. Police arrest 7 persons
  • Supreme Court rejects curative petition in the Uphaar cinema fire case in Delhi and says there will be no further jail terms for the owners, the Ansal brothers
  • Government data placed in Parliament shows a sharp decline in job creation under its flagship employment generation schemes
  • The government is working to amend the Aadhar Act to make it possible for the Aadhar to be linked with the Voter's ID. Election Commission will simultaneously be empowered to link the two
  • Tapas Pal, former TMC MP, dies of cardiac arrest in Mumbai. He was questioned for his alleged involvement in the Rose Valley scam and gained notoriety for his rape remark in 2014.
  • Bypoll to panchayats in J&K, scheduled for March in eight phases, postponed due to security concerns.
  • Supreme Court says that overhead power transmission lines going through the Desert National Park in Jaisalmer in Rajasthan must go underground to save the Great Indian Bustard and the Lesser Florican
  • Pakistan not placed in FAFT blacklist but kept on the grey list with warning
  • The government is expected to announce duty cuts and other measures to combat business disruption due to coronavirus outbreak in China
Former principal secretary to PM Modi, Nripendra Mishra, appointed to head the temple committee of the Ram Janambhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust
oppn parties
Congress Needs More Than Priyanka in UP

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2016-07-09 11:39:11

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The Congress’, or should one say Prashant Kishore’s, strategy of fielding Priyanka Gandhi to campaign extensively in Uttar Pradesh to give a boost to the party’s fortunes in the upcoming state elections is not going to work. It is akin to scraping the bottom of the barrel. If the Congress cannot make do with Sonia, Rahul and other heavy weights, it is too much to hope that a hitherto non-political person like Priyanka will work her magic on an electorate clearly disillusioned with a corrupt party with no vision which is hanging on to the fading charisma of a single family.

The biggest drawback for Priyanka will be her husband, Robert Vadra. A flamboyant personality, Vadra keeps courting controversy for both his business dealings and his lifestyle, despite keeping a relatively low profile. There are too many unanswered corruption charges against him. Priyanka will spend more time answering charges against her husband than in explaining to the people what the Congress will do if voted to power. In that sense, fielding her is a move that is going to backfire.

The Congress should take a leaf out of the trend in Bollywood, which clearly shows that content is king. A star might give a film a good opening – after that it is content that takes it forward. Priyanka might draw in the crowds at meetings, but if the party is not able to provide her with a solid programme or vision for the state, it will come to naught. In the absence of a Mahagathbandhan, like the one in Bihar, the party cannot even hope to ride on the coattails of regional parties and improve upon its dismal performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in the state.

Clearly, the Congress is in a dilemma. It never encouraged local leaders to acquire a stature big enough to threaten any member of the first family. Hence, it does not have a second rung politician it can project in UP. It cannot project Rahul Gandhi as the face of the party in the state as it will reduce his stature as the possible challenger to Narendra Modi in Delhi. Priyanka is not the answer and the party is going to come out with its worst ever performance in the state if she is made the chief campaigner.