Does Priyanka nurse UP Chief Ministerial hopes?

Priyanka Gandhi dropping hints on being the Congress party’s chief minister candidate in UP has triggered debates

Priyanka Gandhi’s presence all across Uttar Pradesh as the state braces itself to face the election had brought to the fore the desperate push by the Congress party to win the state Assembly. The grand old party has been making all efforts to make it a household name in UP yet again.

Though the party had been impacted by loss of popularity and the rise in saffron politics over the years, this time around it does indeed look to score big. And in an effort to make this happen, Priyanka Gandhi has been touring the state often.

Besides, her focus on women voters had given shape to campaigns such as Ladki Hun, Lad Sakti Hun. The women turnout at her rallies had been giving her the confidence to make the impossible happen in the state.

Priyanka for CM? Will that happen?

However, would she be the Congress’s chief minister candidate for the state was a question that never arose. Until now! And today, when she was asked that question, she actually made it sound like she indeed would like to be the chief minister candidate if the party wins.

When the query was posed to her, Priyanka Gandhi retorted calmly thus: “Are you seeing any other face from the Congress? “Dikh toh raha hai na sab jaga mera chehra (My face can be seen everywhere).” This, she uttered in the presence of Rahul Gandhi and Randeep Surjewala.

Does that mean she is aiming to the UP chief minister of the Congress posts victory? May be. May be not. Her presence in rallies doesn’t mean she is campaigning as chief minister candidate. Her presence is of course seen as booster dose for the party ailing from previous defeats and setbacks. But a Gandhi family member gunning for a UP state assembly seat is unheard of in the recent past. If Priyanka announces her name as chief minister candidate, it would be history rewritten.

Contest of the big shots

The question is whether Priyanka Gandhi would contest the election at all. If that happens, it will be a contest of the biggies in the state. On one side there is Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who has announced his candidature from the Gorakhpur seat. On the other side is Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who is expected to file his nomination for Karhal Assembly seat. And then would come Priyanka.

If Priyanka contests the polls, the Congress workers are sure to gain some confidence. For, Priyanka has always been seen as the face of UP by the party functionaries. And when they have her to lead her this election season, the adrenaline rush is sure to be huge.

But will she do it? The “Dikh toh raha hai na sab jaga mera chehra” retort might have been impulsive. If she wanted to be chief minister candidate, she would have said that in the beginning itself so that party workers would have been excited. However, if Priyanka finally decides to go for it, then UP might experience a churning in terms of women votes.

But then this is the UP polls. As goes the adage, the result will be known only when counting ends in the last booth.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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