Priya Kotecha (née Sharma) is the daughter of Rishi and Georgia Sharma and the sister of Nikhil and Jai Sharma. She arrived in the village in September 2009, before departing in 2010 and returning in late 2011.
Upon arriving in Emmerdale, Priya gets drunk with Eli Dingle in The Woolpack. She then ends up dancing on Ashley Thomas's car. She is a party girl and does not like taking responsibility. Priya is given a job at Jai and Nikhil's factory but quits after her brothers make her acting supervisor. She reveals that she did not like the way it affected her friendships with the other employees, in particular Eli. Priya eventually returns to work, but not as a supervisor. Priya hands in her notice to her surprised siblings, admitting that she is tired of the country life and being bossed about. Priya leaves the village in a taxi, as Jai and Nikhil wave her off.
A year later, Priya returns to the village with her parents, Georgia and Rishi, to meet Jai's fiancée, Charity. Priya announces that she is staying and moving back in with Jai and Nikhil. Priya flirts with Cain Dingle in The Woolpack and they begin a casual relationship. Jai tries to convince her that Cain is trying to destroy their family in revenge for him being with Charity, but Priya does not believe him. When she discovers that Cain got Amy Wyatt pregnant, Priya is disgusted and ends the relationship. Priya gets a job working behind the bar of The Woolpack.
Priya develops a crush on David Metcalfe, who initially resists her advances on account of his marriage to Alicia Gallagher, who is serving time in prison. Priya continues to flirt with David, who succumbs to her advances. They arrange to meet up outside the village and Nikhil catches them together. Believing that David's marriage to Alicia is genuine, he is disgusted and tries to get David and Priya to end the relationship. However, Priya persuades David to continue seeing her in secret. Priya is devastated when David ends their relationship, so he can put Jacob first. Priya later agrees to go on a date with Robbie Lawson.
Jai sleeps with Rachel Breckle and she soon becomes pregnant. She gives birth during an argument with Charity, to Jai's child. They manage to keep the secret for a while, but after Rachel punches Megan Macey in the face, the word soon gets out. To protect his son, Rishi tells his family that he is the father of Rachel's baby son Archie. Priya, Georgia and Nikhil all disown Rishi, but Jai sticks by him. Rishi and Jai offer David another shop to run, which he decides to accept. When Priya finds out, she is fuming with anger. There is a horrific argument in the street, which Rachel and Alicia soon get involved in. When Priya insults Rachel and Archie, she slaps her. Priya is about to slap Rachel back but is stopped by David and Alicia. Priya is angry that the pair stopped her so turns around and slaps Alicia. Alicia goes to attack Priya but David stops her, saying if she hits Priya, she will lose her probation. Priya walks into The Woolpack and tells Chas Dingle that she is leaving the village, and is shocked when David asks her for his ring back. Priya is fuming and slaps David, but he takes the ring off her and proposes again. When Alicia arrives to tell David that she loves him, Priya answers the door and tells Alicia that she and David are engaged again, devastating Alicia.
Priya is horrified when Cameron Murray holds her and many other villagers, including Alicia and David, hostage in The Woolpack. She is quick to help when Cameron shoots Alicia in the stomach with a gun, and allows David to leave to the pub to get Alicia to hospital. She is later distraught, however, when David leaves her on her wedding day for Alicia. Priya is later upset when she learns that she is pregnant with David's child, and plans to have an abortion, although David and Alicia manage to persuade her to keep the baby.
Priya begins leaving her food and develops an eating disorder, and manages to keep it a secret. When Alicia's sister, Leyla Harding returns to Emmerdale, she becomes good friends with Priya, as they both hate David. Priya then persuades Rishi to give Leyla a job at the factory. Leyla eventually finds out about Priya's eating disorder, and tries to persuade her to get help for her baby's sake. When Priya has an ultrasound scan for her baby, Leyla reveals the eating disorder to the midwife, which infuriates Priya. Jai then finds out about the eating disorder, and when he tries to get through to Priya, she shouts at him and slaps him.
A few weeks later, Priya collapses in the café, hitting her stomach. She is rushed to hospital, where she is told that her and her unborn child are suffering from anorexia, due to her eating disorder. David learns of the eating disorder and is furious, although feels guilty when Georgia explains that stress probably caused it. When Priya returns home, her family, mainly Georgia, try to persuade her to eat different foods. After eating a cooked meal, Priya forces herself to be sick, as she cannot stomach the food. Priya later realises that what she is doing is wrong and goes to a special eating disorder clinic to save herself and her baby. In the same week Priya leaves the clinic, she gives birth seven weeks early to her daughter, with Alicia's help. As the ambulance arrives, the baby stops breathing and is rushed to hospital. The doctors tell David and Priya that their daughter has sepsis but she eventually pulls through and they decide to name their daughter Amba Metcalfe.
A lonely Priya begins to consider an arranged marriage. She meets Rakesh Kotecha and they begin to fall in love. They prepare an elaborate wedding ceremony, but ultimately decide to just live together at Victoria Cottage.
In 2015, Priya finds herself forced to take a more active role in the business as Jai is distracted by custody battles, another failed marriage, and a cocaine dependency. Priya is hurt when Rishi, rather than appreciate her efforts, instead begs Nikhil to return from Canada and save the company. Priya and Nikhil clash, but ultimately he realises she is in the right and after a few months leaves the village.
Priya learns that Rakesh changed paternity test results to keep his son Kirin Kotecha away from his son Johnny Woodfield, as he felt Kirin was too young to be burdened with a child. She's furious, but keeps quiet. When Kirin does learn the truth, the stress of coping as a new father leads to a drinking binge and accidentally running over Tess Harris. Rakesh helps Kirin flee the country. Priya stands by Rakesh, even marrying him, but is unaware he's spiraling deep into debt.
In late June 2016, Rakesh starts a fire at Mill Cottage for an insurance scam. Nicola King is trapped inside, unbeknownst to him, and she suffers significant injuries. As the insurance company doesn't pay, his debts continue to grow, leading him to embezzle from the Sharma business. He then attacks Chrissie White after she tries to blackmail him. Priya begins to assume Rakesh is having an affair, and she suffers a relapse of her eating disorder. When she and soon her family learn the truth about Rakesh, she tries to stand by him, but ultimately takes a break for her own health. As a way for Rakesh to begin paying back the money he owes, Priya agrees to let him work as one of the packers at the factory.
"What are you waiting for? The least you can do is take my luggage out." (Final line spoken by Effie Woods)
"My key won't fit." (First line spoken by Fiona Wade)
"Just go. Far away, and try to be happy." (To Rakesh Kotecha before he leaves the village)