About Priyanka Vadra (Gandhi)
Priyanka Vadra (born 12 January 1972), is an Indian politician. She is the granddaughter of Feroze Gandhi and Indira (Nehru) Gandhi, and belongs to the Nehru-Gandhi family.
Priyanka Vadra is the second of two children of late Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, current President of the Indian National Congress, and the Chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance.
Her father Rajiv Gandhi, grandmother Indira Gandhi and great-grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru were all Indian Prime Ministers. Her grandfather Feroze Gandhi was a respected parliamentarian and her great-great-grandfather, Motilal Nehru, was a distinguished leader in the Indian Independence Movement
She attended Modern School (New Delhi) Convent of Jesus and Mary, New Delhi, and holds a degree in psychology from Delhi University. She is an amateur radio operator, carrying the callsign of VU2PGY.
Priyanka Gandhi was sometimes talked about as a potential inheritor of the Gandhi political legacy. However she has been very clear that while she does assist her mother and brother, her priorities are clearly with her family including her two children.
At a 1999 campaign, she said in an interview to BBC: "I am very clear in my mind. Politics is not a strong pull, the people are. And I can do things for them without being in politics". Nonetheless, the question of her joining formal politics would be bothersome: "I have said it a thousand times, I am not interested in joining politics...".
She has however continued to regularly visit her mother's and brother's constituencies of Rae Bareilly and Amethi where she dealt with the people directly, a role she appears to enjoy. She is a popular figure in the constituency, drawing large crowds everywhere; a popular slogan in Amethi in every election has been Amethi ka danka, bitiya Priyanka (the clarion call from Amethi is for Priyanka [to stand elections]). She is reputed as a good organizer, level headed, and is believed to be her mother's "chief advisor on political matters".
In the Indian general election, 2004, she was her mother's campaign manager and helped supervise her brother Rahul Gandhi's campaign. In a press meeting during these elections she said that "politics is all about serving the people and I am already doing that. I may continue doing only that for five years more.". This led to speculations that she may bear some responsibilities for the Congress Party in Uttar Pradesh. In a BBC Hindi radio service interview she mentioned the war in Sri Lanka and commented "It's not your cause which makes you a terrorist but your method which makes you a terrorist.
In the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, 2007, 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.
On the whole, the Congress party was routed in the state, managing 22 seats out of 402, its lowest tally in decades. However, in what is widely seen as a cachet for Priyanka Gandhi's quiet organizational and vote-drawing ability, the Congress which had only two area seats (out of ten) in the 2002 assembly, now managed to wrest seven, while posting significant gains in all the seats, and this despite initial dissidence within the party. The details of the five seats each from the Rae Bareli and Amethi regions are as follows:
No. Constituency Party Elected Representative Official results INC %age 2007 (2002)
091 Bachhrawan Congress Raja Ram results: 91 33.19 (9.95)
093 Rae Bareli Ind Akhilesh Kumar Singh results: 93 20.25 (74.18)
094 Sataon Congress Shiv Ganesh results: 94 49.13 (6.69)
095 Sareni Congress Ashok Kumar Singh results: 95 43.53 (20.86)
096 Dalmau Congress Ajay Pal Singh results: 96 36.38 (9.23)
092 Tiloi SP Mayankeshwar Sharan Singh results: 92 31.34 (24.02)
097 Salon Congress Shiv Balak Pasi results: 97 37.14 (25.17)
105 Amethi Congress Amita Singh results: 105 40.59 (28.06)
106 Gauriganj BSP Chandra Prakash results: 106 24.55 (22.71)
107 Jagdishpur Congress Ram Sewak results: 107 37.6 (33.04)
Note that at Rae Bareli, the erstwhile Congress candidate, winning since 1993, was disaffected from INC, and stood and won as an Independent. In all the other constituencies in the area, Congress made significant gains.
She is married to Robert Vadra, a prominent businessman from Delhi. They have two children, Raihan and Miraya.