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Debate over Rahul, Priyanka picks up
Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi |
January 27, 2004 20:08 IST
Some Congress leaders agree with their cadres' demand that party president Sonia Gandhi's children Priyanka and Rahul should enter politics.
But there are still some who evade the issue.
"We have already said that Rahul and Priyanka will campaign for us," Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee told rediff.com "Beyond that I have nothing to say."
"The very fact that their [Rahul and Priyanka's] visit to the Rae Bareli-Amethi region has triggered panic in the Bharatiya Janata Party has its own tale to tell," said party spokesperson Anand Sharma.
"They are perfectly capable of taking their own decisions, as has been made clear. I don't think we would like to comment on various speculation," he said.
Ever since Rahul and Priyanka visited Rae Bareli and Amethi [the latter is Sonia's parliamentary constituency], party supporters are reaching the Congress chief's Delhi residence in droves.
According to Congress sources, some party leaders think Rahul should fight from Amethi and Priyanka from Rae Bareli, and Sonia should shift to Bellary in Karnataka
The Congress chief had defeated BJP leader Sushma Swaraj in Bellary last time, but vacated the seat.
A Congress Working Committee member said Priyanka was already "seasoned" and this was why Rae Bareli was deemed an appropriate constituency for her.
Rae Bareli, Priyanka's grandmother Indira Gandhi's constituency, received the brother-sister duo with open arms, he said, adding that besides the assassinated prime minister's charisma, her granddaughter also resembled her.
A proposal that Rahul should be pitted against Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in his Lucknow parliamentary had been shot down, he said.
Significantly, the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee on Monday asserted that Priyanka or Rahul was welcome to stand from the northeast Mumbai constituency.
In a resolution, the MRCC noted that the party was founded in Mumbai and Sonia's husband and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was born here. That was why either of Sonia's children was perfectly qualified to fight from the seat, it said.