Saturday 26 July 2014

India's 'last Gandhi' joins battle for election

Dean Nelson Raebareli

Published 28/04/2014|02:30

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' Talking to people these days, you can see that they have passed over to a place beyond hope'
' Talking to people these days, you can see that they have passed over to a place beyond hope'
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

INDIA'S ruling Congress Party has turned to its last Gandhi to save it from humiliation in what is expected to be the party's first general election defeat for 15 years.

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Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the daughter of the late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, joined the election trail last week amid a growing clamour for her to succeed her brother as the party's campaign leader.

Mrs Gandhi Vadra, known to Congress workers as "PGV", last week took on the mantle of leadership when she toured her mother Sonia Gandhi's Rae Bareli constituency to shore up the "family vote", and supported Rahul Gandhi, her brother, in Amethi at the weekend.

Disenchantment among voters over its lacklustre campaign has increased, while Narendra Modi, the controversial leader of the rival Bharatiya Janata Party, has generated growing excitement with commanding campaign speeches throughout India.

Mr Modi has repeatedly insulted Mr Gandhi as a "shehzada", meaning pampered prince, but he has declined to respond despite suggestions his party could lose around 100 of its 218 parliamentary seats.

His party workers fear he doesn't have the stomach for the fight and are turning to his feisty sister who has, they say, the spirit of her grandmother, the late prime minister Indira Gandhi. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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