Priyanka buzz after her meeting with top Congress leaders

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New Delhi, Jan 7: Priyanka Gandhi on Tuesday created flutters in political circles when she attended a meeting of top Congress leaders in the residence of her brother Rahul, triggering speculation whether she is in for a major role ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh, AICC general secretaries Madhusudan Mistri, Janardan Dwivedi, Ajay Maken and party ideologue Mohan Gopal were present in the meeting, the sources had.

There was no no clarity whether Rahul was present in the meeting or not. Party sources were not ready to come on record on reports that he was not present.

Her meeting led to speculation in political circles whether Priyanka, who will turn 42 next week, will assume an active political role to perk up the Congress performance in the Lok Sabha, particularly in the context of the recent drubbing it received in the Assembly polls. Congress , however, downplayed Priyanka's presence at the meeting saying she has been active in Congress politics and questioned the surprise in political circles over her meeting senior leaders.

There has been speculation in recent months on whether Priyanka, who has so far confined her politics to campaign for her mother Sonia Gandhi in Raebareli, would take a plunge into politics full time. Priyanka, who is younger than Rahul by about more than two years, and has a charisma of her own, has had a role in nurturing Rae Bareli and visits Amethi for campaigning for brother during elections.

A senior leader dismissed as "wild" speculation that Priyanka could be made the party's PM candidate and Rahul as party chief. However, speculation persisted whether Priyanka was preparing to take a plunge into politics. Her attendance in the meeting today fuelled further speculation. Party leaders say in private that Priyanka getting active in party affairs will enthuse the rank and file after the recent electoral debacle and perceived rise of Narendra Modi and AAP.


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