"Yes, we have been getting lots of requests from across the country. All our candidates are saying, 'Give us Priyanka and Rahul,'" says Congress media secretary Tom Vadakkan.
"But the decision to deploy them rests with the Congress high command," he adds.
Many initially thought Priyanka would contest, but that did not happen. Instead, Rahul was fielded from Amethi, while Sonia shifted to neighbouring Rae Bareli.
Priyanka confined herself to Rae Bareli and Amethi, her family's pocket boroughs. Rahul also mostly campaigned in these two seats.
"We had a great chance to simply beat the BJP if Priyanka and Rahul were in the field for the first and second phases of poll. There are no explanations as to why they are not campaigning outside Uttar Pradesh," says a Congress leader.
Last week Rahul told rediff.com: "Right now I am focussed only on Amethi. But if the party leadership asks me to campaign elsewhere in the country, I will do that."
Party leaders close to Sonia say there are four reasons why the two have not ventured out.
The party president's reluctance
"Sonia fears she will become irrelevant if the children are deployed all of a sudden," claims a Congress leader.
She realises she has not led the party well. Under her, the party was unable to win the 1999 Lok Sabha election and several assembly polls later.
"She wants to prove that she can singularly take the Congress to victory this time. That is why Rahul and Priyanka have been unleashed only in piecemeal fashion," this leader claims.
The campaign against the Gandhi dynasty
Many say Rahul was sent to Amethi as "a test case
"The opposition has been relentlessly focussing on Sonia's Italian origin and accusing the Congress of perpetuating dynasty rule.
If the children contest and campaign extensively, the Congress high command thinks the BJP may get some more ammunition.
"We feared the BJP would make a 'vote against the Gandhi dynasty' a major election issue. We feared it would affect the Congress, though that would have been the ideal decision," says yet another Congressman.
"There were requests from Congress leaders from across the country to send out Rahul and Priyanka for campaigning. But I do not know why it was not done," admits Congress leader Salman Khurshid, one of the party's strategists.
There are numerous advisers who give Sonia political counsel that suit their interests. One of them says the issue was briefly discussed during a Congress Working Committee meeting.
"But I really do not know why it was not followed up," Khurshid adds.
The Special Protection Group gives Sonia and her children the highest protection. According to official sources, the home ministry thinks there is a threat to their lives.
Since her husband former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed during the election campaign in Tamil Nadu in May 1991, Sonia is understandably concerned about her children's security.
Last week Rahul cancelled two days of election tours in eastern UP after the SPG said the security arrangements were inadequate.
Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images | Image: Uday Kuckian