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Will Priyanka do any good to Congress in 2014 general elections?

Priyanka Vadra’s charisma has not been able to reap results till now. Congress ended up giving a poor show in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in 2012 where she had campaigned for her party. The party lost all five assembly segments in Rae Bareli while it was able to retain only three of the five seats in Amethi.

Priyanka Vadra, sister of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, attended a senior party leaders’ meeting called at his house, triggering again the speculation of her greater involvement in the party ahead of the general elections.

The meeting at Rahul Gandhi’s 12 Tughlak Lane residence was held as the party is making preparations for the All India Congress Committee (AICC) meeting on January 17. There is speculation that Rahul Gandhi could be declared the party’s prime ministerial candidate at this meeting.

Party sources said several members of the Congress election coordination committee, including party president Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel, union minister Jairam Ramesh, general secretaries Madhusudan Mistry and Janardan Dwivedi and media department incharge Ajay Maken, were also present at the meeting. However, Rahul Gandhi was not present.

The Congress is set to undergo a revamp where several of its ministers will return to the party in order to prepare it for the general elections in mid-April this year. New faces are to be inducted and the party spokesperson list will also see a revamp.

Looking after the constituencies of her brother (Amethi) and mother (Rae Bareli), Priyanka Vadra, who is considered charismatic by the party rank and file, has only been a talking head to the party. Her media appearance is not so frequent and she had contained herself only to campaigning in select few areas in the past.

Her presence at the meeting created a buzz in party circles, with many speculating whether she would take an active role in the campaign for the Lok Sabha elections.

The party, however, down-played Priyanka’s presence at the meeting.

Dwivedi told reporters that Priyanka Vadra was a member of an important political family. “Even if she is not seen taking part in active politics, she is an active member of the Indian National Congress. She has her own views on political issues and talks to party workers from time to time. If on some issue, she has talked to some leaders, what is there to be surprised about? What is new in this,” he said.

Priyanka, who has no formal role in the party hierarchy, joined the meeting in the latter part, the sources claimed, though she was seen entering Rahul Gandhi’s residence around the time the other leaders did. Sources also claimed that the meeting was called to discuss the tour programmes of Rahul and Sonia Gandhi.

The Congress, which suffered heavily in the recently-held assembly polls, is facing a stiff challenge from the Bharatiya Janata Party, and the rise of the Aam Aadmi Party has added to the complications.

Priyanka Vadra’s charisma has not been able to reap results till now. Congress ended up giving a poor show in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in 2012 where she had campaigned for her party. The party lost all five assembly segments in Rae Bareli while it was able to retain only three of the five seats in Amethi.

The burden of loss is on her part and she had been frequenting Rae Bareli ever since. But will it do any good to the party in general elections will be a matter to see.

-with inputs from IANS

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