Congress will benefit from Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's entry into politics: Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut
"It's a good decision by Rahul Gandhi, people of India always had a relationship with Gandhi family. Indira Gandhi's legacy will always remain in this country, Congress will benefit from this," Raut said.
The Congress on Wednesday formally ushered Priyanka Gandhi Vadra into the party fold on "a mission" to transform its fortunes ahead of the Lok Sabha elections due in a few months.
Priyanka, whose formal entry into politics has been a matter of speculation for several years, was given the charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, a state which always plays a key role in the formation of the central government as 80 out of 543 Lok Sabha seats are at stake there.
She will be working in the capacity of General Secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh East, the Congress announced on Wednesday.
The 47-year-old daughter of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and sister of Congress President Rahul Gandhi will take charge of her responsibility as AICC General Secretary from February first week.
Rahul, who made the appointment, said in Amethi that Priyanka has been given "a mission" of creating a "space" for the Congress and push the party's "true ideology which involves working for the progress of the poor and downtrodden people."
Describing it as a "big step", he said Priyanka's induction "means that the Congress would have its own Chief Minister in UP" besides having an alliance government at the Centre.
Priyanka has off and on campaigned for her mother and brother in Rae Bareli and Amethi Lok Sabha constituencies of Uttar Pradesh but her formal entry into politics has been a matter of speculation for long.
The Congress subsequently announced that it will contest all the 80 seats on its own.
Rahul asserted that the Congress will be "playing on the front foot" rather than the back foot in its endeavour to defeat the BJP. When pointed out that the SP and BSP had kept the Congress out of their alliance in UP, Rahul said the ideology of all the three parties is similar and he would like to work with them, wherever possible, to defeat the BJP.
"I have a lot of respect for Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav... The goal of all the three parties is to defeat the BJP. We have to fight for the Congress ideology... If there is a chance of working together, we are ready," the Congress President said.
He said his sister and another party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was given charge of Western UP, are "powerful youth leaders" who will bring about a change in the situation in the state.
Priyanka will be working in the state for two months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Rahul said.
Priyanka and Scindia will present "the right kind of ideology for the poor, for the oppressed people", he said, expressing hope that "a new kind of thinking and a positive change" will come in UP.
Asked whether his sister would be contesting the polls, he said, "I leave it to Priyanka to decide...Personally, I'm very happy with this decision.