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Priyanka Gandhi 'turning active' won't help Congress in polls: BJP

Tuesday, 7 January 2014 - 7:39pm IST Updated: Tuesday, 7 January 2014 - 7:47pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

BJP on Tuesday said Priyanka Gandhi "turning active" in politics is an internal matter of Congress but it will not improve the party's poll prospects.

"This is an internal matter of the Congress. As far as BJP is concerned our leadership is very clear and our aim is to get a majority in 2014 polls.... Going by the performance of the party, I don't think there is going to be any difference in the Congress poll prospects," BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi told reporters.

He was asked about Priyanka Gandhi attending a meeting of Congress leades on Tuesday at Rahul Gandhi's residence and whether her "turning active" in politics will affect the party's prospects.

Trivedi said the people have seen what all has happened under UPA rule, and the assembly election results were just one indicator of their anger. "The rest will be evident in the Lok Sabha elections," he said.

Asked about reports of Rahul Gandhi having hired a foreign agency for an image makeover, BJP said it has no such information.

Queried if Congress has accepted the "failure" of Rahul Gandhi and is now trying to bring in Priyanka Gandhi, Trivedi said, "Congress has been de-establised after the results of assembly elections. We will react when they have a stable mindset".

Priyanka Gandhi was present at a meeting of senior leaders held at the residence of Rahul Gandhi, who is expected to be made party's PM candidate for the next Lok Sabha polls just four months away.

While Congress officially sought to play down Priyanka's presence in the meeting, the development has created flutters as it gave indications of her playing a more significant role in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Earlier in the day, a party functionary had said on the condition of anonymity that the meeting was called by Rahul Gandhi that lasted for around 50 minutes and Priyanka Gandhi joined them for only five minutes at the end of the meeting.

As her attendance set off a buzz in political circles, party General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi said Priyanka Gandhi is a member of an important political family.

"May be she is not seen as participating in active politics but she is an active member of Congress for long. She has been looking after election work in Amethi and Raebareli and she is still doing that.

"She has her own opinions on political issues and she has been discussing with party workers from time to time.

What is the matter of surprise if she has talked to senior leaders of the party on these issues," she said.

Even a decade ago it was widely believed that Priyanka would take the plunge into active politics. Instead it was Rahul contested the Amethi Lok Sabha earlier held by his father late Rajiv Gandhi

Speculations gained after Sonia Gandhi underwent a surgery abroad in 2011 that Priyanka will contest from Rae Bareli. However, this was dismissed by the party.

The party had recently acted tough on some Congress workers, who put out posters inviting Priyanka to contest elections. They were suspended.

The slogans read, "Since the mother is not keeping well and brother's burden has increased, Priyanka you become a candidate from Phulpur, campaign for the party, help Congress form the government for the third time. Phulpur was a Nehru-Gandhi family seat in past.

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