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Priyanka Gandhi

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Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
Gandhi while campaigning
General Secretary of Indian National Congress
Assumed office
11 September 2020
PresidentSonia Gandhi (interim)
Mallikarjun Kharge
Preceded byPost established
General Secretary of
AICC for Eastern Uttar Pradesh
In office
4 February 2019 – 11 September 2020
PresidentRahul Gandhi
Sonia Gandhi (interim)
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
Born (1972-01-12) 12 January 1972 (age 52)
New Delhi, Delhi, India
Political partyIndian National Congress
(m. 1997)
ChildrenRaihan Vadra (son)
Miraya Vadra (daughter)
Parent(s)Rajiv Gandhi (father)
Sonia Gandhi (mother)
RelativesRahul Gandhi (brother)
Nehru–Gandhi family
Alma materUniversity of Delhi (B.A., M.A.)

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (née Gandhi; born 12 January 1972) is an Indian politician and the general secretary of the All India Congress Committee. She is the daughter of former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, sister of Rahul Gandhi, and granddaughter of Feroze and Indira Gandhi, making her a member of the politically prominent Nehru-Gandhi family. She is also a trustee of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.

Personal life

Priyanka Gandhi was born in Delhi on 12 January 1972 to Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, as the younger of their two children. Her older brother Rahul Gandhi is a member of Parliament from Wayanad in Kerala and Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh. She is the granddaughter of Indira Gandhi – former Prime Minister of India – and Feroze Gandhi - a freedom fighter and politician, and the great-granddaughter of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

Priyanka Gandhi did her schooling at Welham Girls' School in Dehradun till 1984. After this, both Rahul and Priyanka were moved to day schools in Delhi due to security reasons.[1] After the assassination of Indira Gandhi, because of constant terror threats, she and her brother Rahul both were home-schooled.[2] Later she joined the Convent of Jesus and Mary, Delhi.[3] obtaining a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi,[4] and later a master's degree in Buddhist Studies in 2010.[5]

In 1997, Gandhi married Robert Vadra, a Delhi-based businessman, started using the name Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. The couple have two children.

After being asked to vacate the government accommodation at Lodhi estate, Priyanka Vadra shifted to Gurugram.[6]

Political career

Gandhi Vadra at an election rally
Gandhi (right) and brother Rahul (left), in an election rally.

Gandhi had regularly visited her mother's and brother's constituencies of Rae Bareilly and Amethi where she dealt with the people directly.[7] In the 2004 Indian general election, she was her mother's campaign manager and helped supervise her brother Rahul Gandhi's campaign.[8] In the 2007 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, while Rahul Gandhi managed the statewide campaign, she focused on the ten seats in the Amethi Rae Bareilly region, spending two weeks there trying to quell considerable infighting within the party workers over seat allocations.[9]

Early years

Even though Gandhi Vadra resisted her direct involvement in politics in the years prior to her official entry into politics in 2019, she played active roles in election campaign for her mother and brother in general and assembly election. She visited her mother's and brother's constituencies of Rae Bareilly and Amethi regularly where she dealt with the people directly, a role that made her a popular figure in the constituency with mass support, and led to the election slogan in Amethi, "Amethi ka Danka, Bitiya Priyanka" (the clarion call from Amethi is for Priyanka [to stand elections]).[10]

Formal entry into politics

On 23 January 2019, Priyanka Gandhi formally entered politics after being appointed as the AICC General Secretary in charge of the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh and then as the General Secretary in charge of the entire Uttar Pradesh[11] She was appointed General Secretary in charge of the entire Uttar Pradesh on 11 September 2020.[12]

In October 2021, Gandhi was detained twice by the UP Police.[13] The first detention followed her visit to Lakhimpur Kheri in western UP where eight people were killed following clashes between protesting farmers and the convey of Union Minister Ajay Misra's son.[14] She and several other party leaders were detained at a PAC guest house in Sitapur, which was being used as a temporary jail to keep them for over 50 hrs.[14] The second detention tool place in the district of Agra where the UP Police detained her citing a ban on gatherings, while on her way to Agra to meet the family members of a man who allegedly died in police custody.[15]

2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections

Priyanka Gandhi launched Congress party's Uttar Pradesh poll campaign from Barabanki on 23 October 2021.[16][17]

In January 2022, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra launched the Congress's manifesto for the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly election along with her brother Rahul Gandhi. The manifesto was focused on youth and women empowerment along with development for the state, and also promised 40% of tickets to women in upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.[18][19]

Pivoting majority on women empowerment and participation in politics, she kickstarted the "Ladki hoon, Lad Sakti hoon" campaign in the state. On the day of International Women's Day, she launched a rally in the state’s capital Lucknow which, laced with several promises and hopes, saw participation of women from all over the state.[20]

Despite all her attempts to revive the party in Uttar Pradesh and bring reforms to the polity of the state, the Congress Party faced a defeat in the assembly elections; winning 2 out of the 403 assembly seats.

Post-2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections

The joint defeat in four other states along with UP led the Congress party to brainstorm and bring in organisational and functional changes that reflected in her political journey. Accepting the defeat in UP, during her first visit to the state after the elections, she talked of revamping the party and urged the party workers not to give up; signalling her determination to continue with her plans for the state.[21]

On 5 August 2022, she took part in Congress’s ‘Mehangai Par Halla Bol’ protest against price-rise and inflation and was detained by the Delhi Police.[22]

She was AICC General Secretary in charge of the Uttar Pradesh until December 2023.[23]

Entry into electoral politics

Priyanka Gandhi will contest as the Congress candidate for Wayanad bypoll.[24]

See also


  1. ^ "At school, forever". The Economic Times. 5 November 2006.
  2. ^ "Short Biography of Priyanka Gandhi". 25 January 2012.
  3. ^ "Priyanka Gandhi Biography". elections.in. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  4. ^ "Facts about Gandhi". Zee Media. Zee News. Zee Media Corporation Company. 12 January 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  5. ^ Bhavna Vij-Aurora (11 February 2012). "UP polls 2012: Robert Vadra bids for a place in Gandhi family power structure". India Today. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to move to Gurgaon". Mumbai Mirror. 23 July 2020. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
  7. ^ "Priyanka Vadra returns to campaign in Amethi". India Today. 16 January 2012.
  8. ^ "Priyanka may be assigned 100 constituencies". Rediff.com. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  9. ^ Rana, Uday (4 July 2016). "Priyanka Gandhi - The Economic Times". The Economic Times. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  10. ^ "प्रियंका गांधी के हाथ यूपी विधानसभा चुनाव में 'कांग्रेस' की कमान, ऐसा रहा है सियासी सफर". 5 February 2022.
  11. ^ Team, BS Web (23 January 2019). "Priyanka Gandhi appointed Congress party general secretary for UP-east". Business Standard. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Who is Priyanka Gandhi?". Business Standard.
  13. ^ Shilpi Sen, Ashish Mishra (20 October 2021). "Priyanka Gandhi detained on way to meet family of Agra man who died in police custody". India Today.
  14. ^ a b "Priyanka Gandhi Vadra released from detention, leaves for Lakhimpur Kheri with Rahul". ThePrint. 6 October 2021. Retrieved 5 April 2023.
  15. ^ "Priyanka Gandhi detained on way to meet family of Agra man who died in police custody". 20 October 2021.
  16. ^ "Uttar Pradesh: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra kicks off Congress poll campaign with seven vows". The Times of India. 23 October 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2022.
  17. ^ "Priyanka Gandhi launches UP poll campaign with loan waiver pledge". The Tribune India. 24 October 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2022.
  18. ^ "Congress will contest UP election under Priyanka Gandhi's leadership: Salman Khurshid". India Today. 13 September 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2022.
  19. ^ "Priyanka Gandhi will be face of Congress election campaign in U.P., says P.L. Punia". The Hindu. 17 October 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2022.
  20. ^ "लखनऊ की सड़कों पर गूंजे लड़की हूं लड़ सकती हूं के नारे, महिला दिवस पर प्रियंका गांधी ने निकाला पैदल जुलूस".
  21. ^ Rashid, Omar (June 2022). "Ramp-up social connect, not just political work: Priyanka Gandhi's mantra for Congress in U.P." The Hindu.
  22. ^ "Heart of Delhi sees Congress protest; Rahul, Priyanka, Pilot among those detained". 5 August 2022.
  23. ^ "Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to contest bypolls from Wayanad: A look at her 2-decade political journey". The Indian Express. 17 June 2024. Retrieved 17 June 2024.
  24. ^ Bureau, The Hindu (17 June 2024). "Rahul Gandhi to retain Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat; Priyanka Gandhi to contest from Wayanad". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 17 June 2024.