Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has taken up the first-ever official party assignment with her appointment as a Congress general secretary in-charge of east Uttar Pradesh, a party press release said on Wednesday.
Priyanka Gandhi, 47, will look after the party affairs in the eastern part of the country’s politically important state and senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia has been elevated as general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh (West).
This is Priyanka Gandhi’s first official party work as till now she only looked after the election management in Rae Bareli and Amethi, the two Lok Sabha constituencies represented by her mother and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi and brother and Congress president Rahul Gandhi respectively.
Recently, she was closely associated in the discussions led by Rahul Gandhi before chief ministers of three states, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, were selected.
There had been demands from a large number of Congress leaders, workers and supporters for her active role in politics but she had kept away confining herself to the campaign management in Rae Bareli and Amethi.
However, she had been informally involved in the party’s election preparedness in Uttar Pradesh on several occasions in the past.
The announcement comes months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and underlines the significance of Uttar Pradesh that sends 80 members to the 543-member Lok Sabha and holds the key to forming any government at the Centre.
According to the press release, Priyanka Gandhi will take charge in the first week of February. The announcement came on the day Rahul Gandhi began his two-day visit to his lok Sabha constituency Amethi.
The Congress president has also appointed KC Venugopal as the party general secretary in-charge of organisation, a post held by Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot. Venugopal will continue to look after the party affairs in Karnataka.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, who has been divested of the charge of Uttar Pradesh, will be the Congress general secretary in-charge of Haryana.
Scindia, who represents Guna in the Lok Sabha, will continue to be the party’s chief whip in the Lower House.