Even before Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s sister Priyanka Gandhi has formally started her political activity as AICC General Secretary, several party leaders are inviting her to contest from their state or constituency. Earlier, party leaders from Varanasi asked her to contest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Now, Karnataka Congress leaders are requesting her to contest from Chikmagalur, from where her grand mother Indira Gandhi was elected earlier, when the party was in difficult period. Even, her mother Sonia Gandhi had first elected from Karnataka’s Ballaery constituency.
A formal request was made to this effect by the Chikmagalur and Udupi Congress committee. Forty one years ago, Gandhi had won from Chikmagalur in a by-election. Fernandes was the chief campaigner against Indira Gandhi in that election. Incidentally, this request was made a day after the death of socialist Veteran Fernandes.
Chikmagalur, the Coffee bowl of India, and the coastal district Udupi were separate Lok Sabha seats till 2004 Parliament election. After the delimitation of constituencies, they were merged in 2009. The seat is currently held by BJP’s firebrand leader Shobha Karandlaje and the Congress wants to wrest the seat this time riding on Priyanka wave.
They argue that Indira Gandhi’s win from Chikmagalur had re energised the Congress which was out of power in 1977 for its Emergency excesses and the same story will be repeated if her granddaughter contests from the same seat.
Incidentally, Karnataka was one of the first states to demand her entry into politics, way back in 1999. Both Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka gandhi had made their frist appearance at a Congress rally in Bellary. Their mother Sonia Gandhi had contested her first election from Bellary.