Priyanka Gandhi’s entry into active politics to help Congress reduce resource, funding gaps with BJP: US think tank


It may not be clear as yet how Priyanka Gandhi Vadra joining Congress would impact its electoral fortunes, but it would help the party reduce its funding and resource gaps with the ruling BJP, an influential American foreign policy magazine has said. Congress president Rahul Gandhi last month made his sister partys general secretary in-charge of crucial eastern Uttar Pradesh having 40 seats in the Lok Sabha. She made her maiden road show Monday in Lucknow along with her brother. Her formal entry into politics, Vaishnav said, has imparted the much-needed enthusiasm to the party, which lost power in 2014 amid a historic victory of the BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Also read| The party has seen few victories since a disastrous 2014 general election performance, and Gandhi provides a much needed morale boost to the Congress rank-and-file, wrote Vaishnav, co-author of a recent book Just last month, the Congress was unceremoniously excluded from a pivotal opposition alliance in Uttar Pradesh, Indias most electorally consequential state. With Priyanka Gandhi heading the Congress partys campaign in eastern Uttar Pradesh – home to the parliamentary seats of her mother, brother, and Prime Minister Modi of the ruling BJP – the party may gain new leverage with fellow opposition forces, he said in his write-up. But the Priyanka Gandhi play is not only about winning allies and lifting spirits; its also about cash. The party is short of it, and Gandhi substitutes for the political finance that the Congress desperately needs, he said. Stating that Vadra, unlike Modi, is just a campaigner; there is no indication that she will contest elections herself, he said, In 2014, the Congress faced three insurmountable deficits – of leadership, ideology, and resources. There is no short-term fix for the first two, but the third problem just got a little easier, Lacking a sizable advertising budget, the Congress can ensure wall-to-wall television coverage of any event in which Gandhi even remotely figures. in a country where dynastic politicians are often revered as deities, said Viashnav. Vaishnav notes that the Elaborating upon the role of social media in modern electoral arena, he said Modi had already mastered the social media game, using Twitter and Facebook to circumvent traditional media gatekeepers and communicate directly with his online followers even before 2014. Five years ago, Rahul Gandhi did not even have a Twitter account to his name, he said. (Modi currently has 45.4 million Twitter followers to Rahul Gandhis 8.45 million.) But the same fascination with Gandhi that will suck in traditional media outlets is also likely to catch eyeballs online, But those things that money (or, in this case, Gandhi) can buy have never guaranteed victory: They earn you a seat at the table,

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