New Delhi: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra may operate from the Lucknow house of Sheila Kaul during her visits to Lucknow. Sheila Kaul was former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s maternal aunt and a sister-in-law of Jawaharlal Nehru. She was also a cabinet minister and the governor of Himachal Pradesh.
According to a PTI report, during her last visit to the state capital on October 2 to participate in the Gandhi Jayanti march, Priyanka Gandhi had visited the house and spent some time there before embarking on the programme, senior party leaders said. The house is located at Gokhle Marg in Lucknow, about three kilometres from the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters
Sheila Kaul was corporator of the Lucknow Municipal Corporation during 1959–65, and a member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council during 1968–71. She was elected as Member of Parliament five times – in 1971, 1980 and 1984 from Lucknow, and in 1989 and 1991 from Rae Bareli. She served as a Minister in the Cabinet of India during 1980–84 and 1991–95, and as the Governor of Himachal Pradesh during 1995–96
Reports said that the house is lying vacant at present with no one from the Kaul’s family using it now. Once Priyanka gets an operational base in Lucknow, it is expected that she will be devoting more time to the state.
Initially, there were attempts to look for a house for the secretary, meeting her security arrangements, sources said. The SPG would now examine if the address meets all the security needs.
A final decision on the issue of utilisation of the house as Gandhi’s operational base will be taken only upon SPG’s recommendations, said, senior party leaders.
At the time Priyanka Gandhi was appointed Congress general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, former party president Rahul Gandhi had said his sister has been given the responsibility as part of long-term planning.
“She hasn’t been sent there for four months, she has been sent there with a larger plan. We will not only defeat BJP in 2019 but also win 2022 elections,” Rahul Gandhi had said when she was assigned the important role in Uttar Pradesh.