The Congress has held complete sway over the Gandhi family bastions of Amethi and Rae Bareli, but always found its victory to be somewhat incomplete as it could not unseat MLA Akhilesh Singh, who continued to win from party chief Sonia Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency after his removal from the organisation.
That scenario has now been rectified for the Congress, with Priyanka Vadra, through her personal intervention, winning over the MLA and getting his daughter to join the party.
Singh was originally with the Congress, but was removed from the party in the wake of criminal cases being registered against him. He continued to win from Sadar seat in Rae Bareli, first as an independent and then as a member of the Peace Party. Earlier, he had won thrice from the seat on a Congress ticket.
According to Congress sources, after Priyanka intervened, Singh decided that his daughter will contest from his Vidhan Sabha constituency. Singh’s daughter Aditi joined the Congress recently, and Singh, along with the family, called on Priyanka.
A party leader said this initiative taken by Priyanka shows her increased involvement in party affairs. Speculation was rife on which party Aditi, who has been educated abroad, would join ever since Singh made known his intention to give the constituency to his daughter.
Priyanka is learnt to have got in touch with Singh through Sanjay Singh, who heads the Amethi royal family and is the chairman of the Congress’ campaign committee, and got Aditi to join the Congress.
Showing the importance that the Congress lay on the mission to get Singh back into the party fold, Aditi’s joining happened at the AICC headquarters in the presence of party general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is in charge of Uttar Pradesh.