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Priyanka Gandhi

Priyanka Gandhi, 33, is seen as the Congress party's last hope. A distinct personality with a style of her own, she has star quality, an appeal that is ubiquitous and unmatched by any political stalwart.
PTI | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON APR 15, 2004 10:43 AM IST

Priyanka Gandhi, 33, is seen as the Congress party's last hope. A distinct personality with a style of her own, she has star quality, an appeal that is ubiquitous and unmatched by any political stalwart.

Her marriage to Robert Vadra, a jewelry exporter, in 1997 caused headlines across the country mainly because he and his family were low-key and not from the same pedigree. The couple have two children -- Rehan, 3, and a daughter who was born in June 2002.

The Congress party was a potent force in Indian politics, but since 1996 has been away from power. She is now seen as the last hope for the once-powerful political force.

Recently the party got a fillip when both Priyanka and her brother, Rahul, became primary members of the party.

Priyanka herself has given away no clues as to her political intentions. At times, however, her speech has been political. She has not shied away from criticising India's much-flaunted economic growth, dismissing it as illusory.

Observers feel that Priyanka would make a strong candidate and there were speculations that she would contest from Rae Bareli. However, her mother Sonia Gandhi is contesting from this constituency.

However, party insiders cannot hide the glee at seeing an elected Priyanka and regard her as a leader-in-waiting. The Bharatiya Janata Party is certainly concerned.

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