Congresswoman Sonia Gandhi is likely to abandon the hoopla 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 Gandhi Vadra’s first election.
Sonia Gandhi, 77, who has not been keeping well, is likely to file her nomination from Jaipur in the next round of Rajya Sabha elections, sources said. However, they added that Mrs Gandhi is not willing to shift to the Rajya Sabha.
For Congress, it would be a huge changing of the guard. Mrs Gandhi has represented Raebareli in the Lok Sabha since 2006. She had won the seat even in 2019, when the Congress’ performance was at an all-time low and Rahul Gandhi lost Uttar Pradesh’s other familiar turf, Amethi , before Smriti Irani of the BJP.
For Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, whose entry into electoral politics has been speculated for decades, this is considered a safe seat. The constituency, a Congress stronghold since the 1950s, was first represented by her grandfather Feroze Gandhi.
Gandhi Vadra was expected to run in 2019 when he formally entered politics in January of that year. Many expected a showdown between her and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi.
But Rahul Gandhi, who was leading the party at that time, tasked her with rejuvenating the party in Uttar Pradesh as AICC general secretary in charge of the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh and later as general secretary in charge of the entire Uttar Pradesh.
But that 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.
Gandhi Vadra’s then comrade-in-arms Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was also in charge of Uttar Pradesh, has since joined the BJP.
Gandhi Vadra, an activist who has represented her mother for years in Raebareli, is seen as the Congress’s great hope to rejuvenate the state ahead of the national elections.