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Priyanka may be assigned 100 constituencies
Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi |
March 02, 2004 18:44 IST
The Congress high command is identifying 100 parliamentary constituencies where Priyanka Gandhi will campaign in the run-up to the Lok Sabha election.
A senior Congress leader told rediff.com that the Congress president and Priyanka's mother, Sonia Gandhi, has given the go-ahead to the plan.
Sonia has been under tremendous pressure to introduce her son, Rahul, and Priyanka into electoral politics. Congress MPs all over the country have been offering to vacate their seats for them.
This could be Priyanka first real step into politics. So far, she had limited her interests to her mother's constituency, Amethi, in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress leader, who refused to be identified, said he was not in a position to divulge which regions Priyanka will be asked to cover. The 100 constituencies are likely to be mostly in Congress-ruled states.
The Congress -- with almost daily defections from its ranks to the Bharatiya Janata Party -- needs a boost of confidence. Priyanka's presence on the ground campaigning for the party may just provide this boost.
Sonia Gandhi herself has been hitting the road more often than she ever did in the past.
She recently completed a tour of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, travelling hundreds of miles, mostly by road, mingling with the voters, sharing their food and water.
In January, both Priyanka and Rahul, a financial consultant formerly based in London, visited Amethi. The visit created a buzz in the political circles and it seemed that both were ready to enter the electoral fray.
That hope seems to have been belied.
Sonia has all along maintained that it is up to Priyanka and Rahul to decide when they want to enter politics.
Congress sources said there is also a proposal to allow Rahul to test political waters in Andhra Pradesh by organising the youth in the state.
It is also learnt that at one point Priyanka's candidature was being considered favourably by the Congress. However, when Akhilesh Singh, a former Congress legislator and now and independent MLA, organised a massive rally in the town, the Congress high command gave up the idea.
Rae Bareilly - Priyanka's grandmother, Indira Gandhi's, constituency - does not have a single Congress legislator today. Sonia's Amethi parliamentary constituency has just one Congress legislator -- Amita Singh, who joined the party recently.