Priyanka Gandhi Vadra appointed AICC general secretary of Uttar Pradesh East

This is the first time that Ms. Vadra will be occupying any official post in All India Congress Committee.

The Congress has appointed Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as a general secretary months before the Lok Sabha elections. She will take charge in February first week.

A communique released by the Congress on Wednesday says party president Rahul Gandhi has appointed Ms. Vadra — his sister — as All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary of Uttar Pradesh East. Jyotiraditya Scindia has been appointed as general secretary of Uttar Pradesh West.

Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was AICC general secretary of Uttar Pradesh, will now be in charge of Haryana.

K.C. Venugopal will take over the post of AICC general secretary (Organisation), which was held by Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Mr. Venugopal will continue as AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka, says the communique.

This is the first time Ms. Vadra will be occupying any official post in the AICC, although she has been a regular at Congress strategy headquarters at 15, Gurdwara Rakam Singh Road office. She has campaigned for her mother Sonia Gandhi and brother Rahul Gandhi in Rae Bareli and Amethi respectively in elections.

Speculations had been rife for a long time on Ms. Vadra’s political entry. During the 2016 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, there was a wide speculation that she would be projected as the chief ministerial face of the party.  Ms. Vadra had earlier rejected such suggestions  as “conjecture” and “baseless rumours.”

The Congress now has only seven MLAs in Uttar Pradesh and won just two seats from the State in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Congress will play on the front foot: Rahul

Welcoming his sister into the party’s leadership, Mr. Gandhi said Congress was fighting a battle of ideologies in the coming elections.

Talking to reporters at his Lok Sabha constituency, Amethi, he said: “The Congress is fighting a battle of ideologies. And the Congress party is not going to play on the back foot anywhere, it will play on the front foot… Be it Priyanka or Jyotiraditya; they are powerful leaders of the Congress and through these two young leaders, we want to alter the politics of Uttar Pradesh.”

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