Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday said that she will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections if the Congress wants her to but she has not decided yet.
"I've not decided yet. If my party asks me to contest, I will definitely contest. My wish is to work for the party," she said.
Ahead of the Congress announcing its candidates in Uttar Pradesh, speculations were rife that Priyanka may feature in the list of party candidates for the general election. But the first list of canidates features Rahul and Sonia Gandhi who will contest from Amethi and Rae Bareli respectively.
Earlier, party workers speculated that Priyanka Gandhi, who continues the Gandhi family's legacy of active politics, may contest the polls from her mother Sonia Gandhi's constituency Rae Bareli
Piyanka's appointment is seen as an attempt by the Congress to gain some importance in the state as it was in a "bad shape" after being left out of the SP-BSP alliance. Party workers feel that Priyanka's personality would woo voters, especially the youth.
However, the BJP claims that the entry of Priyanka Gandhi into active politics will not have any impact on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in the politically crucial state.
Priyanka Gandhi, who arrived in Amethi to hold a dialogue with the booth level presidents as part of the party's 'humara booth, humara gaurav' campaign, also congratulated the DRDO scientists for the "Mission Shakti" in which India demonstrated anti-satellite missile capability by shooting down a live satellite.
She, however, accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of playing politics over scientists' achievements following his address to the nation announcing successful test of an anti-satellite missile.
She also hit back at UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who had alleged that Priyanka and Rahul only visited temples during election time. Yogi's remarks came on Priyanka's scheduled visit to Ayodhya on Friday. "How does he know where I go and when? How does he know I don't go during non-election time?" she said.
Earlier in the day, Priyanka asked party workers to reach out to the villages and expose what she called was the BJP's "jumlebazi" or empty rhetoric.
The Congress general secretary in-charge of eastern districts said people and Amethi have suffered a lot because of demonetisation, stray cattle menace, stopping MNREGS and snatching of a food park and the Indian Institute of Information Technology.
She said it was during the Congress' rule the country achieved expertise in manufacturing matchboxes to missiles, whereas Prime Minister Narendra Modi was merely undertaking foreign trips even as farmers faced immense problems and were not even getting proper return for their produce.
She accused Modi of not fulfilling his "promise" of depositing Rs 15 lakh each into every Indian's account.
She said the Congress party does what it says, pointing out that farm loans were waived soon after the Rajasthan government was formed.
The Congress leader said her party had promised to give Rs 72,000 yearly to poor families and will show how the scheme works.
In April this year, Rahul appointed Priyanka as general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East, which also comprises Lok Sabha seats of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
Long known as a natural in politics who inherited her grandmother Indira Gandhi's charisma, Priyanka Gandhi was earlier actively involved in key decision making in the party along with her mother and brother, including the selection of new chief ministers for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh recently.