The Leaderboard: Priyanka Gandhi

The Leaderboard profiles the people behind the policies of the Asia-Pacific.Who is she?

Ms. Priyanka Vadra Gandhi is the daughter of late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and Indian National Congress’ president Sonia Gandhi. She is a key advisor to both Ms. Sonia Gandhi and her brother, Mr. Rahul Gandhi – the vice president of the Congress Party and the expected prime ministerial candidate.

Ms. Priyanka_Gandhi, center, is playing a larger in Indian politics this year than in past campaigns. Source: Wikimedia user Abhishek.mishra30, used under a creative commons license.

Ms. Priyanka Gandhi, center, is playing a larger in Indian politics this year than in past electoral campaigns. Source: Wikimedia user Abhishek.mishra30, used under a creative commons license.

Why has she been in the news?

In the late 1990’s she was seen as the likely heir in the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, but she largely removed herself from politics and started a family. At that time her brother, Rahul, began to emerge as the family scion. However, she has taken a very active role in this election. She recently campaigned in the constituencies from which her brother and her mother are contesting the ongoing general elections, both located in Uttar Pradesh. Priyanka Gandhi attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, describing his ideology as divisive. While campaigning in Amethi, her brother’s constituency, she criticized her cousin, Mr. Varun Gandhi, who is running for the opposition BJP in neighboring Sultanpur.

What can we expect from her?

Whether the Congress Party stays in power or not, Priyanka Gandhi will continue to play a key role in advising her mother and brother on key political decisions. It remains unclear whether she will assume a larger leadership role within the Congress Party or run for office at some point in the future, partly because her husband, Robert Vadra, has become synonymous with crony capitalism.

2 comments for “The Leaderboard: Priyanka Gandhi

  1. Nishant
    April 29, 2014 at 22:25

    Sacrifice (?) of a woman, as a sister, for her brother’s already drowning political career. As far as I and other Indians know about her, she is a more deserving candidate than her brother. As we have seen failed technocratic top-to-bottom model of UPA governance for two full terms, people are expecting a more centralized, non-technocratic government for next term.

    • Brig (Retd) G B Reddy
      May 1, 2014 at 19:59

      Priyanka Ghandy has missed her opportunity. Now she has to first overcome the corruption charges against her husband Vadra before she becomes acceptable to voters. It is a million dollar question whether she will be able to get over it.

      Also, the Congress Party is going through the “law of diminishing utility” phenomenon. And “dynastic inheritance’ may no longer be acceptable to young India. No more hero worship of the past.

      Finally, the chemistry of the society is rapidly changing. For a person restricted to Delhi, Amethi and Rae Barielly, the complexities confronting India is well beyond her competence.

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