India

Priyanka rose to prominence as a reformer, troubleshooter for Congress

Naveen Bharat Editorial

NEW DELHI: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has emerged as a crisis manager for the party in difficult times. His problem solving skills were on display when handling the Chhattisgarh political turmoil after he played a decisive role in dealing with similar situations in the Rajasthan and Punjab state units.

Party sources said Priyanka, who is in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, is taking keen interest in organizational matters and is consulted in important decisions related to reforms in the party. While the controversy in the Punjab Congress fails to end, a senior party leader said he played a major role in organizational reform in the state.

Read also | Bhupesh Baghel gets Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s lifeline till UP elections

He had insisted on the appointment of cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu as the Punjab Congress president despite Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s disapproval and opposition from former party president Rahul Gandhi.

“Priyanka made sure that Sidhu meets Rahul, a day after her brother denied any meeting. During the marathon meeting, she walked from Rahul’s house to party chief Sonia Gandhi’s residence to brief her. Ultimately, the decision went in Sidhu’s favor, bypassing Amarinder Singh, who had good relations with Sonia ji.

Similarly, in Chhattisgarh too, during the three-hour-long meeting between Rahul and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, she was present throughout the time and also updated Sonia in this matter.

Baghel was again called to Delhi on Friday to meet Rahul as Priyanka was not present during the meeting on Tuesday. She was in the US on a private visit and returned a day later. Priyanka’s decision to continue Baghel for the time being, despite Rahul’s vision of fulfilling the commitment made to state Health Minister TS Singh Deo, prevailed.

He worked behind the scenes to defuse the situation in Rajasthan last year after party leader Sachin Pilot, who was in constant touch with him, over power-sharing issues with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. While trouble continues in Rajasthan over the delay in addressing Pilot’s concerns, he is in touch with the Tonk MLA and has assured him of a speedy resolution to the problem.

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