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NEW DELHI: Is the stage being set for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra‘s greater role in Congress affairs? Well, it seems so. For the second time in the recent past, the party has tried to highlight the Congress general secretary’s pivotal role in defusing crisis in the state units.
First it was in Uttar Pradesh, where Priyanka was credited for breaking deadlock in seat-sharing negotiations with Samajwadi Party. And now, in Himachal Pradesh, where chief minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu faced a rebellion that almost led to the fall of his government.
The Congress troubleshooters on Thursday finally managed to broker truce in Himachal Pradesh, where 6 party MLAs rebelled and joined hands with the BJP to ensure a humiliating defeat for Abhishek Manu Singhvi in Rajya Sabha polls. The Congress had 40 MLAs in the 68-member Himachal assembly, but the BJP with just 25 members got its candidate Harsh Mahajan elected. The 6 rebel Congress MLAs alongwith three Independents were
The crisis in the state deepened when senior Congress leader and minister in Sukhu’s cabinet Vikramaditya tendered his resignation and spoke openly against the chief minister. The party rushed its crisis managers, which included Karnataka deputy chief minister D K Shivakumar, to placate the rebels and save its government.
With the crisis under control, at least for now, sources in the Congress said “Priyanka Gandhi Vadra played a “pivotal” role in protecting people’s mandate in Himachal Pradesh, remaining in constant touch with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, chief minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu and senior leaders to “foil” the BJP’s ‘operation Lotus’.”
The sources alleged that the BJP had “hatched a complete conspiracy” to topple the government in Himachal Pradesh but as soon as there was a hint of rebellion, the high command became active.
“Party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi immediately became active and took the lead herself along with senior party leaders. Senior leaders Bhupinder Singh Hooda, DK Shivakumar and Bhupesh Baghel were sent as observers and given strict instructions that they had to take everyone along,” the source said.
The sources said Priyanka Gandhi, who was the face of the Congress’ campaign in the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections in 2022, ensured there was no laxity.
Earlier this month, when the Congress and Samajwadi Party were unable to break deadlock over seat-sharing, it was Priyanka Gandhi who intervened and ensured that the two parties agreed on a deal.
Congress sources then said: “It was Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s phone call to Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav that helped break the deadlock.”
Akhilesh Yadav, who had till then refused to join Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, eventually shared stage with the Congress leader in Agra giving momentum to opposition’s INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) bloc in politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh. Priyanka had spearheaded Congress’s campaign in the state in the last assembly elections.
In 2020 also, when Sachin Pilot had rebelled against the then Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Priyanka had played a key role in brokering truce.
Clearly, Priyanka Gandhi seems to be emerging as a key crisis manager for the Congress at a time when Rahul Gandhi is busy with Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.


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