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Rediff.com  » News » Congress's Tuesday message: It's now Rahul and (not or) Priyanka

Congress's Tuesday message: It's now Rahul and (not or) Priyanka

January 07, 2014 17:58 IST

Informed sources in the Congress party feel that had Priyanka cared about keeping this meeting a secret, it would have remained so. But the attempt to alert the media, thus setting off wide speculation, is part of the Congress’s design to enthuse its workers that Rahul’s candidature for the top job would bring in Priyanka as well.

Tuesday marks an important day in Congress politics. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, having shunned power and politics for over a decade, has taken a giant step forward. But typical of the Nehru-Gandhi style of functioning, she kept the measure closely under wraps and kept everyone guessing.

Priyanka’s presence at 12, Tughlak Lane (the residence of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi) is laced with a political script for the future. Priyanka, who had said ‘never’ to politics in an television interview to Barkha Dutt, was on Tuesday spotted sitting with Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel, Congress general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi and others.

While the grand old party may dub this as a ‘family matter’, it has a far-reaching political message for the Congress, its allies and opponents alike.

Ostensibly, Priyanka was there to give her inputs regarding Sonia and Rahul Gandhi’s tour programme. She is also said to be willing to persuade Rahul to play a bigger role in national politics – ie, becoming the Congress’s prime ministerial candidate for 2014.

For millions of Congressmen, it implies her formal induction into the Congress. The likelihood of Priyanka contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Rae Bareli (currently represented by her mother, Sonia Gandhi) and taking charge of the Congress organisation, are two other scenarios that are being discussed in party circles.

Informed sources in the Congress party feel that had Priyanka cared about keeping this meeting a secret, it would have remained so. But the attempt to alert the media, thus setting off wide speculation, is part of the Congress’s design to enthuse its workers that Rahul’s candidature for the top job would bring in Priyanka as well.

Faithful Congress supporters can now hope to get ‘Rahul and Priyanka’ instead of ‘Rahul or Priyanka’!

Image: Rahul Gandhi with sister Priyanka Gandhi ' Photograph: Reuters

A Correspondent in New Delhi