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Rediff.com  » News » Cong downplays demand for Priyanka to contest LS poll

Cong downplays demand for Priyanka to contest LS poll

October 15, 2013 21:42 IST

Notwithstanding the party denial of the possibility of national campaign by her, the Congress on Tuesday saw demands that Priyanka Gandhi contest Lok Sabha elections.

"A resolution was adopted unanimously that Priyanka should contest from Phulpur, the constituency represented by Pandit Nehru," Abhay Awasthi of the Allahabad district Congress said.

But All India Congress Committee downplayed the development with party spokesman Meem Afzal saying that he was unaware of any such move. He said that the BJP was spreading a lot of disinformation to divert the attention of people from the Ratangarh temple tragedy in which the Congress has demanded the resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Afzal recalled that party general secretary Ajay Maken had already dismissed speculation that 41-year-old Priyanka will campaign all over the country and not just Amethi and Raebareli.

"Congress party strongly condemns people and news channels who are doing this," Maken had said in an unusual strong reaction on Monday when some channels flashed speculation that Priyanka was to campaign all over the country.

The demand from the Allahabad unit came even as AICC has suggested that there was no larger role for Priyanka, with Maken saying on Monday that she will campaign only in Amethi and Rae Bareli.

A section of partymen believe that a larger role for Priyanka in the polls would mean upstaging her brother and the Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, who is the face of the party in the polls.

Partymen have often spoken of the charisma of Priyanka, who has the looks and the mannerism of her grandmother Indira Gandhi. With 43-year-old Rahul entering the electoral politics by contesting the Amethi seat in May 2004, Priyanka has taken the backseat and has been looking after the family pocketborough of Amethi and Rae Bareli, which is represented by her mother and party chief Sonia Gandhi.

Meanwhile, BJP has plans of putting up Siddharth Nath Singh, grandson of late Lal Bahadur Shastri, from Phulpur seat. Singh has already started reaching out to people.

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