Priyanka Gandhi has dismissed reports that she is likely to contest the 2014 general elections from Rae Bareli, her mother Sonia Gandhi's constituency.
After sudden rumours that Ms Gandhi was set to enter electoral politics sent social media and political circles into a tizzy yesterday, the 40-year-old sent an SMS to NDTV that read, "I am not joining politics. I am looking after my mother's constituency as I did from 1999 to 2004 without being in politics. There is nothing new in my interacting with workers in Rae Bareli and Amethi constituencies. I have been doing so since 1991. As there have been organisational issues lately, I will be travelling to Rae Bareli now and then to look into them."
The immediate trigger for the latest round of speculation seems to have been Ms Gandhi beginning to hold weekly meetings with people from her mother's constituency to discuss issues and problems last month. Congress sources say her mother's poor health is a major reason behind that. Mrs Gandhi had undergone a surgery in the US in August last year and has since reduced the number of public meetings she attends. She was away abroad again for a week-long medical check-up and returned this Monday.
Priyanka Gandhi had both strategised and extensively campaigned in the Gandhi pocket borough of Rae Bareli and Amethi, her brother Rahul's Lok Sabha constituency, for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections early this year. She had camped there for weeks and hand-picked the Congress candidates for that region. The party, however, fared poorly, losing eight out of the 10 Assembly seats in the twin Lok Sabha constituencies.