oppn parties Priyanka Turns Tail, Not To Contest In Varanasi

News Snippets

  • Trouble brews in Bihar JD(U)-BJP alliance as Bihar police asks special branch officers to keep tabs on RSS activities
  • Trust vote in Karnataka assembly today. With rebel MLAs deciding to stay away after the SC order, the Congress-JD(S) government is likely to fall as it does not have the numbers
  • Amit Shah says the government will identify and deport illegal immigrants from all parts of the country
  • Reports from Pakistan confirm that Hafiz Saeed has been arrested and sent to jail
  • After the SC order, Karnataka Speaker says he will go by the Constitution in deciding on the resignations of the 16 MLAs
  • Rebel MLAs say they will not attend the trust vote on Thursday
  • Supreme Court rules that rebel MLAs cannot be forced to attend the assembly and vote in the floor test
  • Both the Centre and the Assam government have sought re-verification of up to 20% of draft NRC data
  • Pakistan opens its airspace for Indian planes
  • Dilapidated building collapses in Mumbai, killing more than 10 people while many were still trapped
  • Kulbhushan Jadhav case verdict to be delivered today by the ICJ
  • A Vistara flight landed in Lucknow with just 5 to 10 minutes of fuel left in the tank
  • Supreme Court to decide on Karnataka MLAs plea today
  • Karnataka alliance to face floor test on Thursday
  • China says that the next Dalai Lama will be appointed by it
International Court of Justice agrees with India, stays Kulbhushan Jadhav's execution. It asks Pakistan to allow consular access to the accused.
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Priyanka Turns Tail, Not To Contest In Varanasi

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
From Sunil Garodia in Varanasi

As I reached the holy city of Kashi today, the first news I received was that the Congress had decided not to field Priyanaka Vadra against Narendra Modi from Varanasi. It had decided to nominate old warhorse Ajai Rai (who contested against Modi in 2014 too). When the news started doing the rounds that Priyanka might contest from Varanasi, I had written (Will Priyanka Smile Her Way To Varanasi) that the Congress will not field her.

The categorical assertion was based on two simple calculations. The first was that the numbers were against her in a three-cornered fight and if the alliance did not leave the seat for her, there was no way she could even put up a decent fight. The second was that the Congress would never field a family member from anywhere else but a safe seat where the chance of winning was more than 90 percent (for there are not many 100% seats left for the party now)

Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi indulged in a lot of play acting whenever the question of the former contesting against Modi was raised by journalists. But it was clear that given the massive support the BJP in general and Modi, in particular, has in Varanasi, there was no way Priyanka was to be made a sacrificial lamb. The Gandhi family does not work that way. Their scions are inducted in politics from safe seats and rare is a Hemavanti Nandan Bahuguna who can put it across the likes of Indira Gandhi.

The first family of the Congress does not believe in scoring points or pinning down star opponents to one constituency by fielding heavyweights against them. If the heavyweight happens to be a member of the first family, the Congress does not take any chance. What if the Scion gets depressed if he or she receives a massive drubbing? Who will carry forward the family name? Priyanka Gandhi will in all probability take over the mantle from Sonia if and when she retires from politics and will contest from Rae Bareilly in future.