Union Minister Smriti Irani, who has been a thorn in Rahul Gandhi's side by putting his candidature from the traditional Congress Lok Sabha bastion Amethi at risk, has called the induction of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra an admission of Rahul Gandhi's failure.
Speaking exclusively to Republic TV minutes after Priyanka Gandhi was appointed Congress General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh East, Smriti Irani said, "Congress has officially accepted that Rahul Gandhi has failed".
Earlier on Wednesday, on a day that Congress president Rahul Gandhi is undertaking his visit to Amethi which had been postponed from two weeks earlier, his party had put out the official letter of appointment.
Speaking from Amethi, Rahul Gandhi said that this step would bring a change in politics in Uttar Pradesh and expressed his own personal happiness that his sister would be working with him.
The entry of Priyanka Gandhi into the Congress has been much heralded, especially whenever elections concerning Uttar Pradesh are around the corner. Ahead of the 2017 U.P Assembly elections, Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra had addressed public meetings, though nowhere near in the same quantities as Rahul Gandhi. Speaking to Republic TV's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on an edition of Nation Wants To Know, poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who had strategised the Congress (later Congress-SP) campaign in Uttar Pradesh, had revealed that he had pushed for Priyanka Gandhi being heavily involved in the election campaign, though his suggestions were not approved at the highest echelons of the party's leadership.
In terms of the upcoming 2019 elections, Priyanka Gandhi's formal political bow comes weeks after the Samajwadi Party and the BSP formalised their alliance for the Lok Sabha polls, excluding the Congress party, following which the Congress announced that it would contest all 80 Lok Sabha seats in India's most populous state. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had stormed to victory in a monumental 71 seats, which went a long way towards the party getting a majority in the lower house. The Congress only managed to win in Amethi and Rae Bareli, the bastions of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi respectively. The SP only won five seats, while the BSP didn't manage to win any.