Leaders campaign for Priyanka Gandhi’s Rajya Sabha entry

NEW DELHI, FEB 18 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 2/18/2020 12:56:00 PM IST

Gandhi family loyalists in the Congress who have floated the idea of bringing Priyanka Gandhi Vadra into the Rajya Sabha say one of the “major advantages” of the move was that it would solve the problem of the AICC general secretary potentially losing government accommodation in the capital, ET has learnt.

ET had reported in November that the Centre, following the withdrawal of the SPG cover for the Gandhi family, may review the official accommodation given to Vadra at a Lodhi Estate bungalow since 1997. While those with Z plus security (which the Gandhis now have) too were earlier entitled to government accommodation, the government in 2015 changed the rules to make only SPG protectees eligible for this.

Sonia Gandhi and son Rahul are entitled to government accommodation as members of Parliament. With Vadra’s official accommodation now hinges on government’s thinking, the Congress leadership is all the more keen that she too enter Parliament.

An AICC functionary said on condition of anonymity: “Well, the idea (over Vadra’s RS entry) has already been floated by projecting it as a ‘decisive move to galvanise the party’ but, as always, it is for Priyanka ji and the Gandhi family to take the final call on whether she should ‘give into the pressure and appeal from party leaders’ or ‘renounce’ it (the RS seat).”

The family loyalists have floated the idea at a time when the process has started for the AICC to finalise the party candidates for the upcoming RS elections.

When reporters asked about the prospect of Vadra’s Rajya Sabha entry, AICC spokesperson Randeep Surjewala chose not to dismiss it, and merely said: “We don’t comment on speculation”. 

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