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Sonia Gandhi Rajya Sabha Switch Likely, Priyanka Poll Debut: Sources

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's entry in electoral politics has been speculated on for decades.
New Delhi: 

Congress's Sonia Gandhi is likely to move from the hurly burly of Lok Sabha elections, handing the baton to daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, sources have told NDTV. The veteran leader is likely to be nominated for a Rajya Sabha seat in Rajasthan. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will contest the Lok Sabha polls from the family turf of Raebareli, sources said. This would be Ms Gandhi Vadra's first election.

Sonia Gandhi, 77, who has not been keeping well, is likely to file nomination from Jaipur in the coming round of Rajya Sabha election, sources said. They, however, added that Mrs Gandhi is not keen to shift to Rajya Sabha.

For the Congress, it would be a huge Change of Guard. Mrs Gandhi has been representing Raebareli in the Lok Sabha since 2006. She had won the seat even in 2019, when the Congress performance was at its all-time low and Rahul Gandhi lost the other family turf of Uttar Pradesh -- Amethi -- to the BJP's Smriti Irani.

For Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, whose entry in electoral politics has been speculated on for decades, this is seen as a safe seat.  The constituency, a Congress bastion since 1950s, was first represented by her grandfather Feroze Gandhi.

It was expected that Ms Gandhi Vadra would contest in 2019 when she formally entered politics in January that year. Many had hoped for a face-off between her and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi.

But Rahul Gandhi, who was heading the party that time, entrusted her with rejuvenating the party in Uttar Pradesh as the AICC General Secretary in charge of the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh and then as the General Secretary in charge of the entire Uttar Pradesh.

But that effort had crash-landed with the BJP's massive victory from the state in 2019 and Yogi Adityanath's triumphant return to power in the state in 2022.

Ms Gandhi Vadra's then comrade-in-arms, Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was also in charge of Uttar Pradesh, has since joined the BJP.

Ms Gandhi Vadra, a crowd -puller who has represented her mother for years in Raebareli, is seen as the Congress's big hope for rejuvenation in the state ahead of the national election.

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