Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s entry into active politics has given a new ray of hope to the Telangana Congress party, which has been totally beleaguered since its miserable show in the state assembly elections last in December.
The party, which had won just 19 out of 119 assembly seats in Telangana, is desperate to win at least half a dozen MP seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections to retain its identity in the state. The party is planning to put up a big show of strength in the coming weeks in order to prove that it might be down after the assembly elections, but was not out.
As part of the strategy, the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC), which has started preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, is contemplating inviting Priyanka Gandhi along with her brother and Congress president Rahul Gandhi to address a massive rally of five lakh people on the outskirts of Hyderabad soon after the announcement of the election schedule.
A decision to this effect was taken at the meeting of PCC campaign committee headed by former MP Vijayashanti and publicity committee headed by Munugode MLA Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy on Monday. The PCC has decided to send a formal request to the AICC, asking Priyanka to address the rally to rejuvenate the party cadre before the Lok Sabha elections.
“We shall invite Priyanka along with Rahul Gandhi to kick-start the election campaign in Telangana. We are expecting that the schedule for the general elections would be announced in the last week of February or the first week of March. Soon after that, we shall work out the campaign strategy,” PCC president N Uttam Kumar Reddy said.
The Congress leaders are hopeful that Priyanka would help turn around the party’s fortunes in Telangana. “She is our trump card and she has already started weaving her magic around the people in Uttar Pradesh. Her campaign will have a tremendous impact on the parliament elections in Telangana as well,” PCC treasurer Gudur Narayana Reddy said.
The PCC has already started inviting applications from the candidates aspiring to contest the Lok Sabha elections in the state. As on Tuesday, the party had received more than 150 applications for 17 Lok Sabhs seats in the state. The last date to receive the applications was extended up to February 14.
“We shall scrutinise the applications and send them to the AICC screening committee. Ultimately, the AICC president will take a call on finalising the candidates for the MP seats,” the PCC chief said, adding that the entire exercise would be completed by February end.
Opinion | Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has her task cut out in UP
First Published: Feb 12, 2019 22:23 IST