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Only a family campaign for Priyanka

Only a family campaign for Priyanka
Highlights

Only a Family Campaign for Priyanka Gandhi, Ending all speculation of playing a larger role on the national scene, Priyanka Gandhi on Thursday made it clear that she would be focusing only on the Nehru-Gandhi family bastions of Amethi and Rae Bareli in UP.

Only a Family Campaign for Priyanka GandhiNew Delhi: Ending all speculation of playing a larger role on the national scene, Priyanka Gandhi on Thursday made it clear that she would be focusing only on the Nehru-Gandhi family bastions of Amethi and Rae Bareli in UP. This leaves her brother Rahul and mother Sonia free to campaign across the country. Interacting with mediapersons soon after casting her vote in the Capital, Priyanka said, "I will be in Amethi and Rae Bareli." Priyanka has made it clear that she has a task cut out for herself, to help out her brother and mother. Speculation has been rife of Priyanka playing a larger role in the Congress campaign.

According to party sources, Priyanka's decision is part of a larger policy decision in the party, not to do anything that will take the focus away from Rahul, considered the Congress Prime Ministerial face. The Congress does not want two power centres to emerge within the party. For the first time, Rahul has emerged as campaign face of the Congress. Even if the Congress does not make it to power this time round, as the trend seems to indicate, there are clear signals that after the elections are over, Rahul will devote time to rebuild the party organisation. His main task would be to revive the party, in time for the next General Election in the country. Apparently this will also help Priyanka to steer clear of the controversy surrounding her husband Robert Vadra, who has been repeatedly targeted by Narendra Modi on his land deals in Haryana.

Sources state that Priyanka is playing big behind-the-scenes roles for Rahul. She is involved in sharpening the campaign pitch, working out the nitty-gritty, strategizing, giving important inputs, providing feedback on campaign trends, planning Rahul's tours and attending to the micro-management of electioneering. After Priyanka was spotted by the media of going into a senior leaders meeting at her brother Rahul Gandhi's 12, Tughlak Lane residence, AICC General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi had pointed out that she may not be in active politics but she was very much active member in the Congress.

There have been demands pouring in from several States that Priyanka should campaign outside the Amethi-Rae Bareli belt, which she has been consciously avoiding. Over the years, Priyanka has acquired a firm grip over Amethi and Rae Bareli, where she has been spiritedly campaigning for her brother and mother. Rahul, who is seeking election from Amethi for the third time in a row, faces a tough challenge from BJP Vice-President Smriti Irani and AAP's Kumar Vishwas. Priyanka singlehandedly manages campaign in these two key constituencies.

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