As Priyanka Gandhi Vadra kicked off a roadshow in Lucknow on Monday, a group of about 500 Congress party workers dressed in pink uniforms had been gearing up to cheer for the politician since Sunday.
Calling themselves the “Priyanka Sena”, these workers were seen wearing pink t-shirts and pants which bore Priyanka Gandhi’s face along with the slogan:
“Desh ke samman mein,
Priyanka ji maidan mein,
Maan bhi denge,
samman bhi denge,
waqt padega toh jaan bhi denge”
(In honour of the country, Priyanka Gandhi is on the field / We pay our respects and if needed, will lay down our lives.)
Few members were spotted at the roadshow, as seen on videos being shared on Twitter.
The “Priyanka Sena” had been around for a while, a member told India Today, but this was the first time they were wearing their pink uniforms. “We made pink sena because Priyankaji will represent all of India’s women, not just Uttar Pradesh’s,” a member added. “The pink colour signifies our fight against the misogyny and crimes women face in India.”
Priyanka Gandhi, recently appointed the party’s general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, was joined in the roadshow by her brother Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Uttar Pradesh West General Secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia and state chief Raj Babbar. The day-long roadshow began at the Amausi airport and is scheduled to end at the Congress headquarters in the city.
While photos and videos of the roadshow have taken over social media, the pink uniform predictably drew jokes and jibes. Some pointed out the ridiculousness of putting on the pink garb over other clothes. Another enthusiastic Twitter user made a thread connecting the army with all things pink, such as the antacid medicine, Gelusil.
One user pointed out the sexist connotation of connecting the pink colour with women.
Most of the scorn online appeared to be coming from Bharatiya Janata Party supporters. One user had an alternative idea for dressing up the Congress workers.
Elsewhere, there was a positive spin on the pink army.
The roadshow resulted in saturation television coverage with over-the-top commentary, which received some criticism.