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The next generation of Gandhis charms UP
Sharat Pradhan in Amethi | April 24, 2007 10:01 IST
Even as Priyanka Gandhi remains reluctant to take a plunge into active politics, she has no qualms about letting her children learn the ropes a bit early in the day.
Evidently, it was not just Priyanka taking the constituencies of her mother Sonia Gandhi and brother Rahul by storm this time. Accompanying her on the new mission were her 4-year-old son Rehan and 3-year-old daughter Maira, who were clearly a huge draw in the two family bastions .
Defying the heat, Priyanka drove hundreds of kilometers over the past three days mobilising support for her mother and brother, with her two little charming ones in tow.
Clad in kurta-pyjamas, the two children had virtually joined the campaign brigade, charming the people .
Trailing behind their mother in a separate vehicle under a close SPG cover, Rehan and Maira seemed to not only enjoying every moment of their unique new experience, but also interacting with the crowds.
Everytime they saw children, the two would open the windows of their SUV and give out Congress badges and toffees.
Priyanka also involved them in the campaign by referring to them while addressing scores of roadside meetings .
"This is the first time that I have brought my kids to a campaign. I am a mother, too, and hence I can relate with your concerns as parents -- good education, safety and security, besides, of course, development," she said while addressing a rally.
She also added, "I owe a lot to the people of Amethi and Rae Bareli for whatever I am today; I have been coming here from my childhood so I decided to bring my kids along and let them have a feel of this place."
Even as she has been seeking votes for the Congress since she arrived on Saturday, Priyanka made it clear to the media that she had decided to keep out of active politics because of 'purely personal reasons'.
Evidently, it was no mean task that lay before the party's most enigmatic campaigner who was widely perceived as a natural successor of her grandmother, the late Indira Gandhi, to whom she bears a striking resemblance.
Priyanka made it clear to the crowds - "I am here to campaign for Rahul as he is busy handling a larger task across the length and breadth of the state."
And like her brother, she, too, does not mince words while training her guns on Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and his Samajwadi Party for 'sliding the state into total mess'.
Meanwhile, Priyanka's admirers and supporters look forward not only to her closer involvement in public life, but also that of her children.
"Jug jug jiyo beta, ek din mantri bano (live long and become a minister some day)", was the spontaneous response of a woman when Rehan offered sweets and a Congress badge to her little boy.