Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will not contest the national election and will focus on the party’s campaign, sources said, seeking to end speculation about the 47-year-old contesting her first election in the April-May Lok Sabha polls.
“In order to concentrate on the campaign and her new responsibility as General Secretary, she will not be contesting in this election,” sources said.
They added that she would play “an active role and helping her mother and brother in their constituencies as well as help other congress candidates in the state”.
Priyanka Gandhi has helped her brother Rahul Gandhi, the Congress president, and mother Sonia Gandhi in their constituencies Amethi and Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh for more than a decade.
After the Congress announced that she would join politics and appointed her the party’s general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh along with Jyotiraditya Scindia, there was intense speculation that she would contest polls.
All talk about her taking over Rae Bareli from mother Sonia Gandhi, who has been unwell for a while, was cast aside when the Congress announced its first list of 15 candidates earlier this month, naming both her and Rahul. The list confirmed that Sonia Gandhi is not retiring just yet.
Priyanka Gandhi, 47, has held several meetings with party workers in UP since her launch into politics last month. She delivered her first speech anywhere outside the Gandhi family strongholds yesterday as she addressed a rally in Ahmedabad in Gujarat after attending a Congress Working Committee meeting.
But while campaigning alongside her brother, she has preferred to stay silent or keep a low profile.
Party workers have long clamoured for Priyanka Gandhi’s entry into the Congress and have flooded her with offers of seats to contest.