Two suspended for depicting Sonia as 'ill'

Last Updated 16 October 2013, 21:04 IST

The UP Congress leadership has suspended two office-bearers of the Allahabad district committee on charges of indiscipline.

The suspensions came after hoardings were put up in Allahabad, depicting party president Sonia Gandhi as “ill” and exhorting her daughter Priyanka Gandhi to contest from the Phulpur Lok Sabha seat in the general elections.

Party sources here on Wednesday said Allahabad district committee secretary Haseeb Ahmed and S C Dubey were suspended for allegedly putting up the hoarding. “It is an act of indiscipline,” said a senior Congress leader.

The hoarding also urged Priyanka Gandhi to lend a helping hand to an “overburdened” Rahul Gandhi. The Allahabad district Congress committee had adopted a resolution to urge Priyanka Gandhi to contest from the Phulpur Lok Sabha constituency in 2014.

“Sonia Gandhi has not been keeping well and Rahul Gandhi is overburdened. He alone cannot ensure victory for the party... Priyanka must lend a helping hand to him,” Ahmed said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Congress claimed that there were no plans for giving a larger role to Priyanka Gandhi. She would, however, continue to visit Sonia and Rahul Gandhi’s constituencies.

The BJP took potshots at the Congress, wondering whether Priyanka Gandhi was being fielded after elder brother Rahul “flopped” as a leader.

The reports surfaced after Rahul Gandhi’s scheduled rallies in Uttar Pradesh were cancelled citing the ongoing festivities. The Congress vice-president’s rallies at Rampur and Aligarh last week got a tepid response.

Political observers did not attach much importance to the Allahabad Congress’ resolution.

A section of the Congress always wanted Priyanka Gandhi to foray into electoral politics, given her charisma, appeal and similarity to her grandmother, late prime minister Indira Gandhi.

(Published 16 October 2013, 20:35 IST)

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