New Delhi: The Congress party, which had lauded Priyanka Gandhi’s role in cobbling together an alliance with Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, was on Monday evasive about the part she could play in the party in future.
Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar said Priyanka, who had hitherto limited herself to Amethi and Rae Bareli Parliamentary seats represented by her brother Rahul Gandhi and mother Sonia respectively, played an "active role" along with senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad in putting together an alliance with Samajwadi Party.
Kumar said Priyanka was following "instructions" from Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, "who can assign a role to any party worker".
"Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been active in the two Parliamentary seats of Amethi and Rae Bareli purely out of her choice and we respect that. As far as UP elections are concerned, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi requested Ghulam Nabi Azad ji and Priyanka ji for sewing the alliance of progressive, like- minded parties," he said when asked about the role she played in bringing about the tie-up in UP.
When asked about the role she could play in the state in future, the Congress leader said, "The workers of the Congress party and everybody else are desirous of Priyanka Gandhi playing a larger role. And when that happens you will be duly informed."
Party insiders said she was instrumental in bringing Navjot Singh Sidhu and some other leaders into the party fold ahead of the elections to five state assemblies. Facing a barrage of questions as to how she assumed such an important role despite not being an official of the party, the Congress spokesperson said, "The Congress vice president can ask any party worker to take an active role. Why should there be an issue of propriety?"
"The Congress vice president can instruct, request anybody in the party for any work he deems fit. So he made a request to Ghulam Nabi Azad and Priyanka ji for helping in sewing the entire alliance and that is what has happened."
He said now a "wonderful" alliance was in place despite many not wanting so. There has been widespread speculation about Priyanka assuming a larger role in the party, particularly after her mother and Congress President Sonia Gandhi started not keeping well....