42-year-old Priyanka refuted the reports that she was keen to contest against Modi from Varanasi.

Priyanka, however, admitted that Rahul had on several occasions asked her to take the electoral plunge.
"My brother has expressed to me many times that he thinks
I should contest. This certainly is my own personal decision and I will change it only when I feel from within me that I should," she said.

Priyanka reiterated her earlier remarks that she wanted to campaign only in Amethi, from where her brother Rahul Gandhi is contesting, and in Rae Bareli, from where her mother Sonia Gandhi is fighting.

There has been speculation that the Congress is keen on Priyanka playing a bigger role in the party.

"My brother, mother and husband would wholeheartedly support me if I ever wanted to contest," she said.

Gandhis are under siege, says Jaitley

Commenting on media reports that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra wanted to contest against BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi from Varanasi, senior party leader Arun Jaitley said that the ‘family charisma has faded away’.

"The Gandhis are under siege. The situation is akin to what happened to Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi in the run up to the 1977 general elections. Economic populism did not work. The family charisma has faded away," Jaitley wrote in his blog.

"But a party which is merely a crowd around a family probably felt that the current leader in the family has not clicked," he added.

He suggested the real solution to the problem is to make Congress a more structured party.

"The Congress party solution is if one incumbent in the family fails, the alternative can only be another member of the family... I only wish the desperate solution of Varanasi had been actually implemented. The country now needs the myth of the other family member also to be exploded," Jaitley wrote.

Further targeting the party over reports suggesting the Congress has asked its CMs to either win seats or face replacement, Jaitley wrote that if the reports are true, they only confirm ‘how far cut off from reality the Congress has been’.

"Two national papers carry reports about what is happening within the Congress. The first report suggested the desperation was so high that in order to confine Modi, Priyanka Gandhi had agreed to contest Varanasi seat against the Gujarat chief minister. Another paper reports the Congress chief ministers have been told that if you cannot win seats, you will be replaced," Jaitley, who is contesting from Amritsar, wrote.

Jaitley added if the Congress loses, it is not because of its CMs, but due to the government it ran.

"The problem is not with the Congress CMs. If the Congress loses, it is not because of its CMs. It is squarely because of the quality of government they ran and the non-inspirational personality of Rahul Gandhi. When the problem is within the family, why is the Congress looking for scapegoats outside?" Jaitley added.


Latest News from India News Desk