oppn parties Priyanka Gandhi: Nothing to Exult About

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  • University vice-chancellors in West Bengal decide not to hold final-year examinations despite UGC prod, will instead go by the state government advised 80-20 formula where 80% will be marked on performance in past semesters and 20% on internal assessments in the final semester
  • The Centre wants the ITI and other top Indian firms to bid for 5G as Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE are not likely to be allowed to participate
  • India and China agree on total disengagement to return to peace ahead of the next round of military talks
  • The Supreme Court allows delivery of summons and notices via WhatsApp and email, but questions remain on proof of actual receipt
  • National Investigation Agency says the proceeds from the Kerala gold smuggling case could have been used for terrorist activities
  • Four Maoists shot dead in Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar
  • Despite localized lockdown, Covid cases continue to rise at an alarming rate in West Bengal. Newer areas brought under containment zones in Kolkata
  • ICSE, ISC results declared, Average scores in the English paper, 20% lower this year than the average in most years, pulls down the aggregate for most candidates
  • IIP contracts by 35% in May. Manufacturing goes down by 39.3%
  • Row erupts over CBSE's decision to reduce the syllabus by 30% this academic year due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Experts say several lessons that the ruling dispensation does not like are being removed
  • Gangster Vikas Dubey's nephew killed in an encounter by UP police who also pick up his key aide Raju Khullar and his son Adarsh
  • MHA sets up an inter-ministerial committee to probe the alleged financial misdeeds of three trusts linked to the Gandhi family
  • Actor Jagdeep, most famous for his Soorma Bhopali act in Sholay, passes away
  • Pakistan says Kulbhushan Jadhav has declined to file a review petition and will stick to his mercy plea. India calls it a farce
  • India to keep a strict vigil to confirm that the Chinese are abiding by the deal on the pullback at the LAC
The plot thickens in Rajasthan. Sachin Pilot removed as deputy chief minister and PCC chief. His loyalists dropped as ministers.
oppn parties
Priyanka Gandhi: Nothing to Exult About

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2017-01-24 12:35:48

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 is exulting that Priyanka Gandhi has at last showed her political acumen by salvaging the deal with Samajwadi Party (SP) after it was on the verge of being cancelled. But is there really anything to feel jubilant about? Getting 6 seats more than the final offer of 99 by the SP initially was a lot less than the Congress’ initial demand for 138 seats and even less than the scaled down demand of 110 seats. Further, the SP did not yield much on seats in Rae Bareilly and Amethi, traditional Congress strongholds. Hence, to most observers, it seemed that despite Priyanka’s intervention, the Congress got a bad deal.

However, this is in keeping with the state of the Congress party in UP. It had won only 28 seats in the 2012 assembly elections and only 2 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Hence, despite its status as a national party, it does not have much presence or support in the state. Nothing has changed in its favour since 2014. In fact, things have gone against the party and despite Rahul Gandhi’s barbs against Modi, people treat Congress and its scion with disdain.

The Samajwadi party has entered the alliance to avoid four cornered contests, concentrate on winnable seats and preserve resources. Given the troubles within the SP, it is a good strategy for the party to concentrate on seats where it can consider winning a probability. With Akhilesh having come out tops in the family feud, he can now dictate terms, both within the party and to alliance partners.

That the Congress-SP alliance is one of convenience is clear from the fact that Akhilesh Yadav is not much enamoured of Rahul Gandhi. This was proved when Akhilesh made a jibe at the Congress scions in Rae Bareilly after the alliance was sealed. The CM told a rally that such is the state of education in the district that students do not attend classes and the few he found in one school mistook him for Rahul Gandhi when he asked them whether they knew him. It was a put down by Akhilesh who wanted to show that the district was being neglected by Rahul.

As for Priyanka Gandhi, neither did she achieve any remarkable success in negotiating the alliance nor is she expected to reverse the fortunes of the Congress party in the elections. In fact, with Priyanka in the fray, the opposition will have a field day in attacking her for the alleged illegal land deals of her husband Robert Vadra. She will be cornered on that and will have little time to highlight what plans the party has for developing UP. The way the Congress is projecting her seems that a huge public-supported leader has arrived to redeem the party. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is anything but that. Politics is not her true calling and the party’s attempt to thrust a reluctant Priyanka on the UP stage is going to fall flat.