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Business News/ Politics / News/  Priyanka Gandhi: Is Congress 'troubleshooter' gearing up for Raebareli Lok Sabha seat in 2024 elections?
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Priyanka Gandhi: Is Congress 'troubleshooter' gearing up for Raebareli Lok Sabha seat in 2024 elections?

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Priyanka Gandhi came to the rescue of the drowning Himachal Pradesh Congress government and the seat-sharing alliance with Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh. Will she enter the fray now?

Lok Sabha Election 2024: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi during the party's Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, on Saturday. (Congress-X)Premium
Lok Sabha Election 2024: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi during the party's Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, on Saturday. (Congress-X)

In just one month, the Congress staved off two back-to-back crises in two different states with the help of one problem solver — Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. She played a crucial role when the Congress-Samawadi Party (SP) alliance was falling through. Her 'pivotal role' was also clear when the Himachal Pradesh's Congress government plunged into a crisis.

How Priyanka Gandhi turned a problem solver for Congress

1. Priyanka staves off Himachal Pradesh crisis

Priyanka Gandhi played a "pivotal" role in saving the Himachal Pradesh government, sources told news agency PTI on Thursday. As the rebellion within the Himachal Congress took centre stage after the Rajya Sabha elections, Gandhi swiftly acted to prevent further damage.

ALSO READ: Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra emerges from the shadows

She remained in constant touch with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu and senior leaders to "foil" the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) 'Operation Lotus'. She “did not allow any laxity".

"Priyanka Gandhi immediately became active and took the lead herself along with senior party leaders. Senior leaders Bhupinder Singh Hooda, DK Shivakumar and Bhupesh Baghel were sent as observers and given strict instructions that they had to take everyone along," the sources said.

Even the high-profile Congress leader, Vikramaditya Singh, who resigned as a Himachal minister, said he had spoken with Priyanka Gandhi about his issues and "the ball is now in the party high command's court".

2. Saving Congress-SP alliance

Priyanka Gandhi had reportedly spoken with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav over the phone on February 21 to break the deadlock on seat-sharing in Uttar Pradesh and clinch an alliance, sources had told PTI.

The SP had first offered the Congress 11 of the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh. Later Akhilesh Yadav's party agreed to give 17 Lok Sabha seats to the grand old party. However, the Congress wanted to contest seats which had more winnability.

According to sources, an agreement was reached after the telephone conversation between Priyanka Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav.

AICC in-charge of UP Avinash Pande said Priyanka Gandhi played a very important role in finalising this alliance. He expressed his gratitude to Priyanka Gandhi for her efforts and said she was trying to bring all the opposition parties together to defeat the BJP in Uttar Pradesh.

Notably, Priyanka Gandhi was the face of the Congress' campaign during the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections and the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in 2022. She earlier also played the role of a "trouble-shooter" for the Congress which has been marred by factionalism in many states.

Priyanka Gandhi vouching for Raebareli's seat?

Ever since former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi announced that she won't contest the Lok Sabha election 2024, speculations are rife that Priyanka Gandhi may contest the Raebareli Lok Sabha seat in 2024 polls.

Sonia Gandhi represented the Raebareli Lok Sabha seat since 2004. Her mother-in-law and India's former prime minister, the late Indira Gandhi, was elected to the seventh Lok Sabha from Raebareli. Now, rumour has it that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra may enter the election fray for the first time from Raebareli. 

Amid these conjectures, posters of Priyanka Gandhi were spotted in Raebareli on Thursday. An image of the poster shared by news agency ANI read: "Raebareli ki yahi pukar, Priyanka Gandhi abki bar". 

A banner of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra put up by party supporters ahead of Lok Sabha elections, in Raebareli on Thursday.
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A banner of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra put up by party supporters ahead of Lok Sabha elections, in Raebareli on Thursday. (ANI)

If Priyanka Gandhi contests from the Raebareli seat, she might face Manoj Kumar Pandey in the battle. Pandey is a three-time MLA from Unchahar in Raebareli. He had resigned from the post of SP chief whip on February 27. Now, reports suggest that the BJP could field Pandey from Raebareli in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.

Raebareli was the only seat in Uttar Pradesh where the Congress clinched victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. At 80, the state sends the highest number of MPs to Parliament.

While the Congress and the BJP are yet to declare the candidates for the upcoming polls, all eyes are set on the Election Commission's announcement of the poll dates for the Lok Sabha Elections 2024. Voting will be done for 543 Lok Sabha seats across the states.

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Published: 02 Mar 2024, 06:04 AM IST
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