HindustanTimes Fri,31 Oct 2014

Congress quashes Priyanka campaign ‘rumours’

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 15, 2013
First Published: 00:15 IST(15/10/2013) | Last Updated: 01:24 IST(15/10/2013)

The Congress on Monday categorically denied media reports that party chief Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Vadra will campaign for the party nationally in the run up to the 2014 general elections.

Priyanka, who does not hold any official position in the Congress, has so far restricted her campaign to the Gandhi family bastions of Rae Bareli and Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

After some TV channels ran headlines that she will campaign in several states, the party’s communications chief Ajay Maken said, “I deny those reports absolutely. The Congress strongly condemns people and news channels who are doing this (speculation).”

The party further alleged that these speculations had been floated to divert attention from the Ratangarh Temple stampede and to hide Madhya Pradesh government’s failure.

BJP, however, rubbished his allegations and party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar quipped: “Rahul Gandhi has flopped and the Congress is looking for an alternative. So, someone within the party must have leaked this news. This is an internal matter of the Congress and the source of the leak is in the Congress headquarters.”

Rumours about Priyanka playing a more active political role had grown stronger after she attended an official programme of the district level vigilance and monitoring committee in Rae Bareli – Sonia’s constituency — last week. Gandhi, as the chairperson of the panel, had nominated her daughter in the monitoring body.

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