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On Popular Demand

Some gaffes apart, Priyanka has the gift of bonding with people. But she is yet to say a firm 'I Do' to politics

On Popular Demand
Nirala Tripathi
On Popular Demand
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
On January 11, 1998, Sonia Gandhi kicked off her maiden campaign tour from Sriperumbudur where her husband Rajiv had been assassinated seven years ago. The curious turned out in droves to see her. All eyes, however, were drawn irresistibly to the vibrant red-and-saffron-clad figure beside her. Priyanka Gandhi, who spoke just one sentence, in Tamil, exhorting the crowd to vote for the Congress. Over frenzied applause, they shouted back, "Our future leader".

Five years later, it's widely accepted within the party that Priyanka is the star campaigner for the Congress. In-house surveys commissioned by party strategists in various states have shown she is the most acceptable member of the Gandhi clan, which collectively (Sonia, Priyanka and Rahul), it is claimed, outstrips even Atal Behari Vajpayee in popularity. The media has 'testified' to her overpowering "charisma" and "magnetism". The camera loves her. And so do the people, according to the surveys.

Posters with her portrait are a regular feature at Congress conclaves. And yet, she hasn't indicated that she will...
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