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Priyanka’s personal touch, vivacity, and spontaneity elevated the Amethi-Rae Bareli campaign

The police had granted the meeting an expiration time when Congress national secretary Priyanka Gandhi recently traveled to Bachhrawan in Rae Bareli to attend an evening electoral rally. She was so prohibited from using the public speaker system. Unfazed, the celebrity activist turned off the loud generator at the venue, climbed into her SUV, and spoke spontaneously without a microphone as the audience lit up the stage with flashlights from their cellphones.Videos of the speech quickly gained popularity (see image on the right).

In these elections, Priyanka seems to be acting more naturally and articulately, according to a number of election observers. This was made clear by her intense campaigning for brother Rahul and Kishori Lal Sharma, a close ally of the Gandhi family, in Rae Bareli and Amethi. “There was a good amount of volatility and unpredictability in her campaign. A representative for Congress stated, “She stopped anywhere and walked up to anyone who welcomed her for an interaction.”

Her leadership of the campaign clearly energized Congressmen in the two areas. Priyanka told partygoers in her first speech that they needed to be ready for 20 hours of work every day and pull up their socks.

Priyanka’s coworkers said that “Didi,” as she is fondly nicknamed, led by example. One of the team members said, “She started her day with a quick strategy meeting and hit the road by 10.30am, returning as late as 11pm.”

“Upon her return, she called meetings to finalize the schedule for the following day and went to bed only after midnight,” he said. Usually, she would start her remarks with heartfelt pleasantries and an apology if she had arrived at the event late. Maaf kijiyega thodi si vilamb ke liye, mera abhivadan sweekar kijiye aap sab. She sometimes mentioned the cause for the delay. “Aapko dhoop mein baithna pada (Please accept my greetings, and apologies for coming late and making you wait in the sun)” she stated.

She has made a shrewd electoral appeal and responded promptly to criticism and concerns voiced by the saffron camp. More than anything else, however, Priyanka’s personal touch has boosted the locals’ and workers’ excitement.

“Priyanka’s treatment of Sharma, who some BJP leaders referred to as her “peon,” has also been well-received,” a Congress supporter remarked. “Itne saal Kisori Bhaiya ne aap sabka bahut khayal rakha hai. How come we are human and not ape? It’s not as easy as it seems. Ah, sab ko mil ke inki jeet sunishchit karni hai (Brother Kishori has been your link to the party leadership for all these years). At a public gathering, Priyanka said, “He is the candidate this time, and we have to assure his victory.

Priyanka often shifts quickly in her remarks to criticize the BJP, Prime Minister Modi, and the party’s candidates before softening her tone once again to emphasize the need of voting. She referred to Amethi and Rae Bareli as “her family” at a public meeting, crying as she described how Amethi supported her in getting over the terrible loss of her father as she traveled from country to town in 1999 to establish the Congress organization in preparation for her mother’s first election.

Priyanka took advantage of an opportunity to attack the saffron camp at a meeting in Kamalganj when two women spoke about the issue of stray cattle and another recounted how she benefitted from the self-help group network that developed during Rahul’s time as Amethi MP. “The SHG scheme was closed due to political maneuvering by the BJP.”

A young person approached Priyanka at a “nukkad sabha” in Naseerabad, pointing to a monument of the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and begging her to pay floral tributes. The audience followed Priyanka as she left the platform and almost raced to the monument.

“Her motivation is unwavering commitment. She eats very little throughout the day. Her go-to foods are “nimbu pani” and foxnuts. She sometimes likes to eat in between public sessions and enjoys a “parantha achaar” roll, according to a Congress official.

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