Priyanka Gandhi facing hard realities of Congress in Amethi
New Delhi, May 03: Congress General Sectretary In- Charge of East of Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi is facing hard realities of Congress in Amethi where her brother and Congress President Rahul Gandhi is contesting Lok Sabha elections.
Amethi votes on May 06 in the fifth phase of on going Lok Sabha polls.
According to sources, Priyanka is baffled by the ground realities of the party in a constituency that has been the bastion of the Gandhi family.
This is happening at a time when Rahul Gandhi is again facing Union Minister Smriti Irani, who had given a tough fight to him in 2014 elections.
Sources say despite appointment of even a small party functionary with the consent of Rahul and Priyanka in Amethi, she has found many loopholes in the organisation in Amethi.
She had to face so many complaints from within the party that made her concerned, say sources, adding that Priyanka was perturbed when she was told by the party cadres that for the first time even the loyal voters of the Congress were pointing fingers at Rahul Gandhi.
The Congress General Secretary is also reportedly disappointed as the NYAY Raths (vehicles publicising Congress ' Minimum Income Guarantee Scheme) are not getting good response in Amethi.
Priyanka has realised this is because the party workers are not happy with the leadership, therefore she has been trying to control the discontent among party members and promising them to address their complaints after the elections.
In order to keep all aspects of campaigning under control, Priyanka and Rahul have directed the Congress leaders not to enter Amethi without prior permission.
For example, senior Congress leader Pramod Tiwari has been invited by Gandhis to woo Brahmin voters in Amethi.
She has also invited Congress leaders from different states to be part of the campaign and tasked them to contact the voters directly to know about their grievances.
Sources say that after getting the feedback from these leaders, Priyanka has started visiting small villages of Amethi parliamentary constituency to control the damage.
As far as countering the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) campaign led by Smriti Irani is concerned, Priyanka has told party workers and leaders that they should firmly answer the questions being raised by Irani camp.
Smriti Irani has been relentlessly targeting Rahul Gandhi alleging he is the missing MP of Amethi. She is also alleging that despite sending a member of Gandhi family regularly to the Lok Sabha, Amethi is still underdeveloped.
The Congress has lost a Lok Sabha election at Amethi only twice. In 1977, Sanjay Gandhi lost the Lok Sabha election and in 1998, Congress candidate Captain Satish Sharma was defeated.
The insiders also tell One India that decision of Rahul Gandhi to also contest from Wayanad has sent a negative message among the Amethi voters.
Irani camp has been telling voters that they would be wasting their votes as Rahul has already decided to abandon Amethi.
It is notable that Rahul Gandhi on Friday wrote an emotional letter to Amethi voters and appealed them to vote for him in large numbers on Monday.
He has promised development of the region as soon as Congress forms government at the Centre.
Rahul Gandhi won his first election from Amethi with over 66 percent votes. The vote share increased to nearly 72 percent in 2009.
In 2104, Irani contested against Rahul but lost the election by little over one lakh votes. However, both the vote share and winning margin of Rahul reduced drastically. His vote share in 2014 was 46.71 percent, which was the lowest for a Congress candidate from the Gandhi family in Amethi Lok Sabha constituency.