Is Priyanka Gandhi the victim of patriarchal mindset of Congress?

rahul gandhi, priyanka gandhi
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Congress President Rahul Gandhi recently said, “Women are barred from entering RSS. BJP believes women can’t run the country only men can.” This is a surprising comment coming from the Congress President who himself has  propped up the ladder at the cost of his sister Priyanka Gandhi. If there is a suitable candidate for the prime ministerial post in the Congress today it is definitely not Rahul but Priyanka Gandhi. Rahul has fallen from grace ever since 2009, his each mistake has cost Congress votes and decline in popularity amongst its allies. The effort and time which Congress spends in covering up Rahul Gandhi’s mistakes could have been used to rebuild Congress up from the scratch since 2014. The Nehru-Gandhi family did not let Priyanka Gandhi take the centre stage, kept her at the sidelines, used her sparingly and that too when Rahul and Sonia needed help.

Priyanka Gandhi has proved her mettle and shined through with ease in the few chances she has got to showcase her abilities in politics. She has been constant at political rallies during elections in Raebareli and Amethi, from where her mother Sonia and brother Rahul contest the Lok Sabha elections. The connection which she has with the people from the two constituencies is a big factor which keeps the family seat in the grasp of the Congress. Her popularity amongst the Congress workers and supporters is so much that she had been asked to campaign against PM Modi ahead of the 2014 elections following the lack of support from the public during Rahul Gandhi’s appearances. At countless occasions, she has played the role of saviour for the Congress, without asking for much in return. She had in fact once expressed the desire to contest the elections against PM Modi in 2014 but had to contend herself after facing negation from Sonia and Rahul. The decision of the Congress probably had its roots in the fact that Rahul would have been pushed to the abyss of anonymity had a leader with the charisma of Priyanka taken the centre stage.

From forging allies in Uttar Pradesh with the Samajwadi Party prior to the state elections of 2017 to forging an alliance with Janata Dal (Secular) after the election results of the Karnataka state elections were out, Priyanka has proved her prudence and efficiency. She was also present behind the camera when Rahul Gandhi went head on with Arnab Goswami during the disastrous interview prior to the 2014 elections, prompting and helping Rahul, according to sources. If there is one question which remains today it is that why has Congress not given her the centre stage till date.

Is it because the Congress realizes that Rahul Gandhi would forever be overshadowed by Priyanka, or is it because Rahul is the male heir to the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and has the onus of carrying forward the family name? With 2019 fast approaching and Rahul Gandhi hardly having changed for the better it is important that the Congress leaders do some brainstorming over this issue. Leaders like Salman Khurshid have already expressed the desire to have Priyanka leading from the front, the party needs to hear its own leaders and the cries of the public too. Priyanka Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate for Congress might or might not be able to make the party win against PM Modi and BJP but she would definitely prove to be a better Leader of Opposition than Rahul Gandhi. It is after all not necessary that a politician’s genes be transferred to just the male heir.

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Abhishek Bhardwaj

Full time reader, writer and foodie. Has opinions on everything under the sun and not afraid to express them.
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