New Delhi, Jan 25: The list of star campaigners released by the Congress for the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections 2017 has the name of Priyanka Gandhi. Her name is among the 40 released by the party for the crucial UP polls where the Congress is battling it out with its alliance partner, the Samajwadi Party.
Priyanka has always worked for the Congress from 'behind the scenes'. Although she has access to the party strategy, the question is how much of a difference will she make to the Congress' fortunes in the polls.
She has been compared to her grandmother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi, and party leaders say that she is the one who can carry forward the legacy. When the party announced its alliance with the SP, party leaders made sure that they give due credit to Priyanka for 'sealing the deal'. "It was only after Priyanka stepped in that the alliance was formed," a Congress leader told OneIndia.
Will Priyanka make a difference?
If we compare the 'success rate' of her campaign in 2014, it looks unlikely that Priyanka will make a major impact in 2017. Priyanka hardly makes any public appearances. She surfaces only during elections and this is a huge 'negative'.
However, political analysts say that she is a better bet than her brother Rahul since Priyanka enjoys great deal of popularity across UP. In comparison to her brother, Priyanka is more popular among the young voters. She is being pitched heavily in UP since the Congress vice president has clearly failed to capture the imagination of voters in favour of the party.
While the Congress feels that Priyanka is a better bet, we need to look into the 'Robert Vadra factor' which might stand in her way. In the run up to the UP polls, the Congress had strategically pitched her name. When the alliance formation looked shaky, Congress sources said that it was Priyanka who finally stepped in and ensured that things went on smoothly.
It is clear that the Congress is trying to portray her as the face of the party. For Priyanka, the UP polls will be an acid test. The Congress will fight the elections in 105 seats in UP. An analysis shows, the party is likely to win 50-60 seats.