Dismissing any wave in favour of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra on Thursday made it clear she would campaign only for her mother Sonia Gandhi and brother Rahul in the general elections.
“I will be in Amethi and Rae Bareli,” said Priyanka, 42, after casting her vote at a polling booth in Delhi’s Lodhi Estate. She was accompanied by her husband Robert Vadra.
The remarks put an end to intense speculation in the media that she would finally step out of Amethi and Rae Bareli to campaign for Congress candidate from Varanasi Ajay Rai who is pitted against Modi and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal.
“Even though other Congress leaders have asked me, I am only going to campaign for my mother and brother,” Priyanka added.
There have been occasions when she campaigned for party candidates in neighbouring Sultanpur constituency but this time she has decided to avoid it since her cousin Varun is contesting from there.
After his candidature was announced, Rai had said that she had assured him of all possible help, indicating she might campaign for him. Congress general secretary Madhusudan Mistry, who is contesting against Modi from Vadodara in Gujarat, had also said that he would be “grateful” if she campaigned for him.
Asked if she saw any “Modi wave”, Priyanka shot back: “Bilkul nahin (Not at all). Mujhe bilkul nahin lagta (I absolutely don’t feel it)”.
The buzz about her assuming larger role in the party had increased in the run up to this summer’s polls. Apart from Mistry, Mahila Congress chief Shobha Oza had also demanded greater organisational role for Priyanka.
The talk intensified after senior general secretary Janardan Dwivedi spoke about her interest in politics from early age. Dwivedi also said that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had told him about her political interests in 1990 but refused to divulge details.
However, the Congress later said that Priyanka would herself decide her future role in the party.