Who is Priyanka Gandhi?
Priyanka Gandhi is an Indian politician and granddaughter of former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi. She is the daughter of Rajiv Gandhi and the current leader of ‘Indian National Congress’ Sonia Gandhi. Priyanka was brought up amongst leaders as she is part of the legendary Nehru-Gandhi clan. Hence, it was only natural for Priyanka to take the political route in her life! However, despite belonging to the first political family of the country, Priyanka did not show any interest in contesting elections as an active politician until 2019 when she became the General Secretary of the ‘Indian National Congress,’ monitoring the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh. Before becoming a politician, she was often quoted saying that she would like to do things for people without actively entering politics. While it is mostly her mother Sonia Gandhi and brother Rahul Gandhi who have been serving the party, Priyanka’s contribution cannot be overlooked. She may not be the face of the ‘Indian National Congress’ but is definitely an important member of the party. Her role in the party had always been ambiguous and undefined, but she kept on contributing to the overall performance of the party. She is an extremely responsible citizen and an excellent organizer. She also plays the role of chief advisor to her mother in matters of political interest. Her command over languages, confidence, demeanor, and determination to relentlessly serve the people of her country has been an inspiration to many women.
Childhood & Early Life
Priyanka Gandhi was born on January 12, 1972, in New Delhi, India. Her father Rajiv Gandhi was a scion of the Nehru-Gandhi clan and served as the sixth prime minister of the country. Her mother Sonia Gandhi currently serves as the president of the ‘Indian National Congress.’ Priyanka has an elder brother named Rahul Gandhi who is a Member of Parliament in the ‘Lok Sabha.’
She did her schooling at ‘Modern School and Convent of Jesus & Mary’ in New Delhi. After completing her school education, she did her graduation in psychology from ‘Jesus and Mary College,’ University of Delhi. She did her masters in Buddhist studies in 2010.
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At the age of 16, Priyanka Gandhi gave her first public speech. Ever since, she has been a part of numerous political processions, rallies, and conferences.
From an early age, she has regularly visited her mother's and brother's constituencies of Rae Bareilly and Amethi where she has dealt with the people’s concerns.
When Sonia Gandhi took over as the president of the ‘Indian National Congress,’ she revamped the party’s image completely. In the 2004 Indian general election, Sonia Gandhi led ‘Congress’ to victory.
Priyanka Gandhi served as the campaign manager for Sonia Gandhi in the 2004 general election. She also helped supervise Rahul Gandhi’s campaign in the constituency of Amethi.
Following the ‘Congress’ party’s win in the 2004 elections, Priyanka’s stature in the party grew. Though she did not play any direct role in the party’s electoral win, she was definitely a force behind the party’s victory.
During the 2007 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, when Rahul Gandhi was busy with his statewide campaign, Priyanka concentrated her energy and effort on the ten important seats in the Amethi and Rae Bareilly region. She spent two weeks trying to suppress considerable infighting within the party over seat allocations.
In the 2009 and 2014 general elections, Priyanka Gandhi campaigned extensively in the constituencies of Amethi and Rae Bareli, and helped secure a win for her brother and her mother.
In January 2019, she formally entered politics after being appointed as the General Secretary of the ‘Indian National Congress’ in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh.
It was speculated that she would contest against the current Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi at the 2019 Indian general elections at Varanasi. However, the ‘Congress Party’ declared another candidate named Ajai Rai in place of her, making it clear that she would not be contesting.
Personal Life & Legacy
Priyanka Gandhi befriended Robert Vadra when she was in her early teens. Robert’s sister Michelle and Priyanka were classmates. With time, the friendship between the two deepened. Robert also befriended Rahul Gandhi.
A couple of years later, Robert proposed marriage to Priyanka and the two tied the nuptial knot on February 18, 1997, in a traditional Hindu ceremony. The couple has two children, son Raihan and daughter Miraya.
She is an avid follower of Buddhist philosophy and a practitioner of ‘Vipassanā’ as taught by S. N. Goenka. Her conversion to Buddhism is her means to acquire inner peace and tranquility.
Priyanka is also an avid photographer. She imbibed the passion for photography from her father Rajiv Gandhi.