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Jan 17, 2012 at 04:43pm IST

I will join politics if Rahul wants: Priyanka Gandhi

Rae Bareli: For the first time Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has indicated that she is open to joining active politics if Rahul Gandhi asks her to do so. Priyanka made the statement on Tuesday during the campaign trail in Amethi and Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the Assembly polls.

Priyanka said, "(I) will campaign in Amethi and Rae Bareli right now. I will do anything Rahul wants me to do. (I) haven't decided yet on joining active politics. If Rahul wants me to campaign, I will campaign."

Priyanka is scheduled to tour Amethi and Rae Bareli on Tuesday where she will try to boost the Congress's campaign. The Congress, buoyed by Rahul Gandhi's high-voltage campaign in the state, is hopeful of putting up a good show in Uttar Pradesh after being pushed to the sidelines in the state.

The party has pitched Rahul as the star campaigner in the state, but if Priyanka campaigns outside Rae Bareli and Amethi, then there could be a competition between the two of them.

The Congress is trying to regain the lost ground in Uttar Pradesh and if Priyanka can swing the floating votes especially of the Muslims in favour of the Congress, the she could prove to be a game changer.

Dalits are also crucial in the Congress's gameplan and the party hopes that Priyanka will be able to bring a section of the Dalit votebank back into the party's fold if she campaigns in the state.

Congress workers have been enthused by the arrival of Priyanka in the state and on Monday several of them stopped her convoy at Babuganj, insisting that the party puts up clean candidates.

So far, Priyanka is not scheduled to address any public meetings, but only due to meet local party workers during her visit.

Priyanka on Monday told party workers to bury internal differences for the success of the Congress while making it clear that groupism would not be tolerated.

To keep a watch on groupism, flying squad teams would be constituted at village-levels which would be known by a secret code, she said commencing her three-day tour of the two Lok Sabha constituencies.

Priyanka exhorted party workers to dedicate themselves in ensuring the victory of the party nominees in all the assembly seats falling in Amethi and Rae Bareli represented by her brother Rahul Gandhi and mother Sonia Gandhi respectively.

Congress has six of the 10 Assembly seats in Amethi and Rae Bareli parliamentary constituencies.

The first phase of polls in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 8 and conclude on March 3 over seven phases. The counting will take place on March 8.

With additional inputs from PTI

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