Priyanka Gandhi should have been Congress’ Plan A from the word go.
Priyanka Gandhi makes it official. Predictable. But what took her so long?
Baffling are the ways of bumbling politicians! Trumpets! Here is Priyanka Gandhi – what’s not to love about her? But hello! Why was the lovely lady kept in purdah for all these many years? Why??? I don’t get it. Do you?
Priyanka Gandhi should have been Plan A from the word go. Today, she comes in as Plan B. Silly. And a bit too late in the day, given the time bomb ticking away ahead of the general elections. What sort of a miracle can she pull off in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, of which she has been nominated as the Congress General Secretary?
If Sonia and other brilliant strategists within the party are looking at Priyanka Gandhi as their ultimate secret weapon or stealth bomb to finish off the formidable Narendra Modi-Amit Shah combo, they really shouldn’t have sat on their master plan this long. Priyanka takes the plunge…. but will she be bhaari enough to torpedo the BJP???
We now get three Gandhis for the price of one. If Rahul Gandhi fails to deliver, he has his sister as back-up, while mamma Sonia Gandhi grits her teeth, scowls, schemes and starts looking for decent living quarters for her darling daughter. Now that Priyanka has a proper designation. Is this the best move the Congress could come up with at the n-th hour? Need of the hour or a surgical strike? More importantly, can Priyanka really deliver?
Priyanka Gandhi has been consistently projected as the reluctant politician. The one who was happy to be periodically aired, bask in her startling resemblance to her legendary grandmother, and frequently confuse the villagers in Amethi and Rae Bareli (some of whom may not even know that Indira Gandhi is dead).
Her family role was restricted to playing the affectionate chhoti behen to her dimpled bhaiya. Even though it was obvious from the word go that Priyanka was the natural-born neta in the set-up. The crowds adored her and let’s face it, she is the ultimate ‘people person’ – warm, touchy-feely, the genuine Gandhi article.
But then, the purdah obstinately stayed. It was said Sonia Gandhi didn’t want her daughter to be in public life for a variety of reasons. Okay. We get it. Protective mom. So, what changed? Could it be the Robert Vadra factor? Priyanka’s (body) builder husband Robert Vadra is in a bit of a spot, you know – criminal charges and such. But who isn’t in a spot these days? Apart from Amit Shah, that is? It was suggested that Vadra didn’t want the missus to get into the cess pool of politics and mess up their carefully nurtured family life. Now even he has changed his tune and has wished ‘P’ very warmly on an Instagram post ( “….always by your side in every phase of your life. Give it your best.”). Please note: no heart emojis. Only a thumbs up with a smiley. Significant? Ummm… we pounce on every little scrap we get, okay??
Frankly, I believe Priyanka will make a good politician. She has been marinated in politics, is used to being in the public eye, speaks fluent Hindi…. and wears great sarees (she looks terrific in couture, as well ). Can’t wait for her to start campaigning – she can always maro Rahul bhaiya’s borrowed Burberry jacket to ward off the winter chill. She won’t need a bodyguard – who better than muscleman Robert Vadra to protect her? Kharcha bachao – that can be her slogan. Most citizens dabaaoed by demonetisation will identify with that tagline. The Modi government couldn’t bachao the beti. But Priyanka can definitely bachao spending.
And once the Congress is done with this election, we can all save time and ask Sonia Gandhi to instantly induct Priyanka’s children into the Youth Congress. Yaaay! Plan C! We can’t get enough of dynasty in India, remember?
Shobhaa De is a columnist, social commentator, journalist and opinion-shaper. She has authored 20 books.