NEWS
24/01/2019 9:18 AM IST

As Priyanka Gandhi Enters Politics, Modi Says 'For BJP, Party Is Family'

Priyanka’ Gandhi's appointment immediately became a point of political debate.

ASSOCIATED PRESS/ File Photo

MUMBAI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Wednesday that democracy runs in the BJP’s veins while in many other cases, family comprises the party.

His comments came hours after Gandhi family scion Priyanka Gandhi Vadra formally entered politics.

Interacting with BJP booth workers from Baramati, Gadchiroli, Hingoli, Nanded and Nandurbar in Maharashtra, Modi said unlike “many cases” where family is the party, for the BJP the party is family.

In an apparent reference to Priyanka Gandhi, who has been appointed a Congress general secretary and made in-charge of Uttar Pradesh East, Modi said in the BJP, decisions are not taken on the wishes of a person or family.

“In our party, decisions are taken on the basis of what party workers want,” he said.

Modi also said the BJP is driven by democratic principles. “Democracy runs in the veins of BJP which is why people of the country feel closer to the party.”

Priyanka Gandhi enters politics

Ending years of fevered speculation, Gandhi family scion Priyanka Gandhi Vadra formally entered politics on Wednesday with her brother and Congress president Rahul Gandhi appointing her as general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East, which also comprises Lok Sabha seats of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

Signalling the Congress’ intent to go full throttle in the state ahead of the high-stakes general elections, Priyanka’s appointment immediately became a point of political debate with leaders of Congress and its allies welcoming it saying she will be a “great success” for the party while the BJP dubbed her entry into active politics “as an admission by the Congress that its president Rahul Gandhi has failed in providing leadership”.

Priyanka will take over her new assignment from the first week of February, a statement from the party said. The 47-year-old will assist her brother, Rahul, in the Hindi heartland state, which was party’s stronghold till the mid 1980s.

“I am very happy that my sister Priyanka will assist me in Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha polls, she is very capable,” Rahul said, adding “we won’t play on the back foot, we will play on the front foot, be it Gujarat or Uttar Pradesh.” 

“I feel this decision will help initiate new thought in UP and will bring a positive change in UP politics,” he told reporters in Amethi.

“UP is central to building a new hope filled & compassionate India. The new UP AICC team lead by Priyanka and Jyotiraditya, will herald the dawn of a new kind of politics in the state. We will offer the youth in UP a dynamic new platform to transform the state,” Gandhi later said on Twitter.