With Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi visiting the families of four people who died in Lalitpur in Bundelkhand state while allegedly waiting in line to buy fertilizer, Congress is working to increase its visibility in the run-up to the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. He’s been virtually absent for three decades now.
Priyanka later tweeted that she met the distressed families to share their pain. It also attacked the UP government for what it called an acute shortage of fertilizers in this underdeveloped region that intersects with the UP and MP.
The Congress said she had met the families of four farmers – Booji Pal (55), Sohi Ahirwar (40), Mahesh Kumar Bunker (36) and Pablo Pal (40). It is alleged that two of them died in queues for the production of fertilizers, while two committed suicide because they were unable to obtain fertilizers.
Three of the victims are from the most backward castes and one is the Dalits – groups that all sides try to attract. However, the BJP has a better grip on the very backward castes so far – the Samajwadi is trying to influence the BJP’s base – while the BSP has a grip on the Dalit Ahirwars, which is the name used in this region for Miyawati. layer.
“It is unlikely to have an impact. They no longer have ground-level Dalit leaders with whom Dalits can gain power through representatives of their caste,” says University of New Jersey sociologist Vivek Kumar, UP specialist. And Congress also does not seem close to power in UP. So how will these visits translate into votes? “
Saying that Priyanka’s appearance is welcome, Kumar warns that none of this can be translated into votes without a strong party organization or second-tier leaders, who are nowhere to be seen.
Priyanka aims to stand out and wants to be seen as representing a group of target groups such as peasants, women, and now also Dalits and very backward castes. The idea is to turn vision into charisma,” says Badri Narayan, another UP academic. But how will that turn into votes? Perhaps the attempt is not to position Congress as a player in the current elections, but to put it on the long-term organizational level in the state.
Priyanka’s recent activities indicate a conscious attempt to reach out to farmers and women, says Narayan. After she was arrested on her way to Lakhimpur Khiri when four farmers were cut down by a car owned by Union Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra Teni – and they demanded police officers for arrest warrants, while also warning them that they would be charged under various sections if they stopped illegally – she was filmed. She was visiting women farmers in Barabanki six days ago. She briefed them on the party’s plans for women’s empowerment ahead of the UP elections early next year.
“I want to understand their working conditions, how they raise their daughters and whether they are able to educate them,” Priyanka – around whom Congress came up with the slogan Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon (I am a girl; I am a girl; I am a girl. Can fight) – told the media.
Its increased visibility in the UP indicates that the party is looking to build its own organization in the long term and does not want to be seen as a secondary player among the anti-BJP political forces, symbolized mainly by the Socialist Party and to some extent the BSP and RLD, in the state.