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Priyanka declines pleas to enter fray
Published on 4 Mar. 2009 1:16 AM IST
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Congressmen in this Uttar Pradesh town Tuesday raised a virtual chorus to request Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to join active politics. But the charismatic Gandhi scion said they would have to ‘wait for some more time’. Priyanka, who visited her Congress MP brother Rahul Gandhi’s constituency here Tuesday to meet party workers and locals, was urged by Congressmen to enter the poll fray. ‘We all expressed our desire to see her in the fray this time; but she just smiled and told us that we would have to wait for some more time before she could take a plunge into the political arena,’ local Congress veteran M. Naqvi told IANS after the meeting. During a short interaction with waiting mediapersons, she however made her stand on the issue more explicit. ‘I am not going to contest the election. I am here to take care of things in my mother and brother’s constituencies - Rae Bareli and Amethi - so that they can be free to campaign across the rest of the country,’ Priyanka said, before stepping into her vehicle to drive back to the Fursatganj airstrip from where she returned to New Delhi in the afternoon. Earlier, on her arrival in the morning, she was welcomed by a host of local partymen. She first drove down to Gauriganj to attend the valedictory ceremony of a Congress Sewa Dal camp. This was followed by a series of meetings with different levels of party workers drawn both from Amethi as well as Rae Bareli parliamentary constituencies at Munshiganj in Amethi. The meetings were out of bounds for the media. Congress workers said the meetings were meant to pep up the party rank and file for the elections and give them broad guidelines for the campaigning. Assuring the people that she would be visiting both Amethi and Rae Bareli constituencies more frequently in the coming days, she asked them to immediately ‘get down to brass tacks’. Speaking to volunteers at the conclusion of the Sewa Dal camp, she said: ‘The training that you have received at the camp will be put to test next month.’ She went on to add: ‘It is going to be a test of victory and defeat; we known we are going to win. But remember the victory will not be ours; it will be a victory of your love and affection.’ Thunderous cheers and cries of ‘Priyanka Gandhi zindabad’ echoed as she bid farewell.

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