Amid reports that Priyanka Gandhi will share campaign responsibilities with her brother Rahul, Congress general secretary Madhusudan Mistry on Saturday said that he would be “grateful” if she visits his constituency Vadodara where he is taking on Narendra Modi.
“I will be very happy if she comes… I will indeed be grateful if she comes for a roadshow,” said Mistry, who is filing his nomination for the Lok Sabha polls.
His remarks came close on the heels of reports quoting Gandhi family friend and key Congress strategist Sam Pitroda that Priyanka will share her brother and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s burden.
She will interact with media more and also campaign aggressively in the coming days, Pitroda has said, making it clear that the 42-year-old would complement her elder brother’s efforts, not overshadow them.
Mistry’s remarks also came a day after all India Mahila Congress (AIMC) president Shobha Oza said in Bhopal that it is the wish of all Congressmen that Priyanka should campaign for the party in the entire country.
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“It is the wish of all Congressmen,” Shobha had said when asked whether AIMC wants Priyanka to campaign in the entire country instead of confining herself to the family pocket borough of Amethi and Rae Bareli.
“However, any final decision on the issue will be entirely her own,” Shobha has said.
The reports have come amid the talk that Priyanka, who has been helping the Congress war-room in strategising its election campaign, may be taking baby steps towards a more active political role.
Ahead of the filing of nominations, Mistry said that he was confident of a victory in Vadodara “because of the solid support of the party and people.”
“I am full of confidence that I will turn the tables,” Mistry, who is a known detractor of Modi, said.
Asked whether the party would be putting up a formidable candidate in Varanasi too against Modi, Mistry, who is in charge of party affairs in Uttar Pradesh, said “certainly”.
“I am busy in campaigning in Vadodara,” he said when asked as to who will be the Congress nominee in Varanasi and when his name will be announced.
Priyanka’s possible involvement in active politics has to be seen in the context of senior Congressman Janardan Dwivedi’s statement quoting late Rajiv Gandhi, saying how even as a teenager Priyanka was well inclined towards politics.
“For me this question is meaningless. As far as I know her interest in politics started much earlier. She was keen to understand political developments and the language of politics from the very start.
“I have some proof of this also, but I don’t want to mention it now. All I can say is that Rajiv Gandhi had told me something about this in 1990. That is all for the moment,” Dwivedi had replied when asked whether Priyanka is now taking more interest in political affairs of the Congress.