Congress’ Sonia Gandhi is likely to emerge from the tumult of the Lok Sabha elections and hand over the baton to her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, sources told NDTV. The veteran leader is likely to be nominated for a Rajya Sabha seat in Rajasthan. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will contest the Lok Sabha elections from the family turf of Raebareli, sources said. This would be Mrs. Gandhi Vadra’s first election.
Sonia Gandhi, 77, who is not keeping well, is likely to file her nomination from Jaipur in the next round of Rajya Sabha elections, sources said. They, however, added that Mrs Gandhi was not willing to move to the Rajya Sabha.
For Congress, this would be a huge changing of the guard. Ms Gandhi has represented Raebareli in the Lok Sabha since 2006. She had won the seat even in 2019, when the Congress’s performance was at an all-time low and Rahul Gandhi lost Uttar Pradesh’s other family territory – Amethi – for the benefit of Raebareli. Smriti Irani of the BJP.
For Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, whose entry into electoral politics has been the subject of speculation for decades, this is considered a safe seat. The constituency, a Congress bastion since the 1950s, was first represented by his grandfather Feroze Gandhi.
Ms Gandhi Vadra was expected to contest in 2019 when she formally entered politics in January that year. Many were hoping for a showdown between her and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi.
But Rahul Gandhi, who was then leading the party, entrusted him with the task of rejuvenating the party in Uttar Pradesh as general secretary of the AICC in charge of the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh, and then as secretary general in charge of the whole of Uttar Pradesh.
But this effort failed with the BJP’s massive victory in the state in 2019 and Yogi Adityanath’s triumphant return to power in the state in 2022.
Jyotiraditya Scindia, Gandhi Vadra’s then comrade-in-arms, who was also the head of Uttar Pradesh, has since joined the BJP.
Ms Gandhi Vadra, a crowd-puller who has represented her mother for years in Raebareli, is seen as the Congress’s big hope for rejuvenation of the state in the run-up to the state elections.