Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty scion Priyanka Vadra is 42 years old. This is at a time when 18-year-olds are becoming millionaires and when younger people than her like Sachin Tendulkar have already finished their long, glorious and illustrious careers.
What does a woman who has everything in her life from power to riches to privileges to comfort do for five years? In a Lok Sabha cycle of 60 months she’s seen campaigning for her family for a few months, but what does she do for the other 57-58 odd months?
Why didn’t she jump into politics in 2004 along with her brother Rahul? Why not 2009? And why not in 2014 when the Congress is probably at its most desperate moment in Independent India’s history?
A look at some of the possible reasons…
1. The rules of monarchy: The Dynasty, like many other dynasties, is run like a typical monarchy. That means that only the heir apparent is in the limelight and wields power and all the others have to live in the shadows.
Indira Gandhi was the only child of Jawaharlal Nehru so her entry was inevitable. When elder son Rajiv refused to have anything to do with politics only then did younger brother Sanjay jump in. Then when Sanjay died, Rajiv was immediately pulled in.
That way Rahul is the older brother and Priyanka is destined to play second fiddle for life. That’s why, forget contesting, she doesn’t even hold a senior post in the Congress party.
2. The Robert Vadra albatross: Maybe Priyanka was considered for 2014 but her husband Robert has suddenly come under a cloud thanks to his many controversies. First a few stray reports appeared in some newspapers about his shady dealings.
Then AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal created a big ruckus over the Vadra affair. And now the BJP and its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi are going after Vadra in a big way. Imagine if Priyanka would contest polls?
The Opposition would have a field day going after Vadra and targeting Priyanka. As it is her current guest appearance has generated so much controversy. Also then she would be bound to declare all of Vadra’s assets and that would come under even greater scrutiny.
3. Any other skeletons? We only know about Vadra. Are there any other skeletons in the cupboard? Like one website has claimed that Priyanka has been occupying her government Lodhi Estate Bungalow despite not having any government or party post.
The problem is that while such reports may be brushed aside by the Congress party now, they will not be able to do so if she were to contest Lok Sabha polls. The same website claimed that Priyanka has multiple DIN (Director Identification Numbers) that could lead to Income Tax complications.
BJP leader Subramanian set the cat among the pigeons in the Congress party by saying that she drinks too much alcohol. All this is happening because she is just campaigning for her family. Imagine if she were to stand for elections!
4. Kept as a secret weapon: The Congress party also treats the Dynasty as Brahmastras and keeps them till the very end. That way Sonia came good for them in 2004. Rahul has been kept as their weapon for the 2014 polls.
While he looks set to fail in 2014, he hasn’t failed yet. We will only know after May 16. If the Congress indeed does get its lowest share as opinion polls are predicting, party leaders may limit Rahul’s power to within the organizational and push Priyanka as a PM candidate for 2019.
5. She’s simply not capable: Another major factor is that maybe she’s not at all capable and doesn’t have it in her to be a leader. The entire mainstream media is in awe of Priyanka and the dynasty and so the truth will never come out.
Whenever she surfaces once every five years the media goes gaga over her and tries to present her as a second Indira Gandhi. But she may be totally inadequate for the job. In fact the last couple of speeches have been damp squibs.
She is neither a good orator nor does she talk any sense. She may be nothing other than a Pappini who is even worse than Pappu. Sonia is shrewd and maybe she has kept her back for a reason.
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Five reasons why Pappu will be a disastrous PM
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The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger. He blogs here.