Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra campaigned for party candidates over two days in Bengaluru before leaving for Delhi on Monday (May 8) — the last day of campaigning before the May 10 Karnataka assembly elections.
For the past two weeks, Priyanka has attended several rallies and road shows in the state. After holding road shows at Mahadevapura and Bengaluru South constituencies on Sunday, she held roads-shows at Chickpet and Vijayanagar on Monday.
Priyanka’s road show in Bengaluru came as a morale booster for party workers. The massive rally was attended by Congress workers and supporters from across the state, with a large number of people thronging the streets to attend the event. Priyanka, who stood in a vehicle decorated with flowers, waved at the people gathered on both sides of the road.
Her roadshows have impressed workers as well as her admirers in the city. During her roadshow in Mahadevpur, she tossed flowers at the public and waved at them. She also blew flying kisses to children standing on the wayside. The children merrily returned her kisses.
Congress workers and fans showered flowers on Priyanka during the roadshow as slogans of “Jai Congress” blared from speakers. Hundreds of people waited on the roadside and balconies to see the Congress leader. Flags of the Congress and National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), its student wing, were hoisted.
Thousands of Congress leaders and workers held party flags and shouted pro-Congress slogans. But due to delay and rain, Priyanka could not conduct the roadshow in Shivajinagar near Vidhana Soudha. In her absence, her brother Rahul Gandhi spoke at the Shivajinagar meeting. Later, Priyanka attended a public meeting organized in Bangalore South.
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The Indira appeal
Priyanka has been participating in the election campaign for two weeks, and her appearance at the rallies and her words have encouraged party workers and leaders to work hard in the elections to defeat the BJP. Raghunath Achar, 76, said Priyanka resembles Indira Gandhi and has emotions for the common man. “She will be our future leader. Rahul Gandhi is working hard to rebuild the party. But Priyanka has the charisma to take the Congress towards winning. Rahul dares to take on BJP leaders. But Priyanka’s words are more effective,” he added.
#WATCH | Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra holds a roadshow in Vijayanagar, Bengaluru on the last day of campaigning for #KarnatakaAssemblyElections which are scheduled to be held on 10th May. pic.twitter.com/NyYPcJUAng
— ANI (@ANI) May 8, 2023
Sridhar KV, an office bearer of NSUI Bengaluru, said the Congress now has the young leadership of Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi. “The organisation was started by Indira Gandhi to strengthen the Congress base, and we have decided to strengthen it again after seeing the brother-sister duo’s efforts to rebuild the party, as well as to defeat the BJP in elections,” he said.
Apart from Congress leaders and workers, the public also has some kind of sympathy towards Rahul and Priyanka for their hard work to make their party win the elections. “Congress has been repeatedly defeated by BJP in various places. BJP’s national leaders, including PM Narendra Modi, are camping in Karnataka for many days. But, for the Congress, Priyanka and Rahul are working to achieve wins. I think, in Karnataka, they will achieve it with the strong state leadership, including former CM Siddaramaiah and KPCC chief DK Shivakumar,” he said.
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Throughout the roadshow, the public shouted “Indiramma, Indiramma” (referring to grandmother Indira Gandhi, whom she resembles) as Priyanka waved at them. The public in several places was thrilled to see her and her leadership skills. They wanted her to become the prime minister in the next elections.
Govindarajanagar Congress candidate and former MLA Priya Krishna, who accompanied Priyanka, said thousands of people gathered during the roadshow. “This is the first time I am experiencing this kind of support for Priyanka. People saw Indira Gandhi in her and it is a boost for party workers.
Can Priyanka do better than Rahul?
Some people said Priyanka should enter electoral politics and take charge of the party herself. Priyanka looks like her grandmother and is also a strong woman; so, it will be helpful for the Congress in the coming parliamentary elections, they said.
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Party workers seemed to find Priyanka’s speeches more effective than her brother Rahul’s, and her active participation will help the party. Thousands of people have joined her rallies and road shows, but whether those numbers turn into votes remains to be seen.
The high-voltage campaign for the May 10 assembly elections in Karnataka will come to an end on Monday, with all the three major political parties in the state — BJP, Congress, and JD(S) — using the last chance to woo voters. Already, Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, and Mallikarjun Kharge, have held various road shows, rallies, and election campaigns.