Sonia Gandhi rejects plea to fight elections
Tuesday 27 January 1998
A statement from Vincent George, her secretary, denied media reports earlier in the day that she would contest her late husband's constituency, Amethi, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
Earlier, the United News of India (UNI), quoting sources in the Congress Party unit of Uttar Pradesh, said the 51-year-old widow would file her nomination from Amethi today.
But Mr George said in a statement: "Mrs Sonia Gandhi's attention has been drawn to the report to the effect that she may contest the coming elections from Amethi. She has been overwhelmed by the affection and enthusiasm of the people of Amethi.
"While acknowledging her desire to deepen her relation with the constituency of her late husband she has decided that for now she will not contest the elections but will concentrate on campaigning for and strengthening the Congress Party throughout the country."
With her ties to leaders of India's past, Mrs Gandhi has been hailed as the saviour of the crumbling party since she agreed several weeks ago to break her seclusion to campaign. Although she has addressed several rallies, she has rejected repeated pleas from party leaders that she run for office and even take over the party as its prime ministerial candidate.
The ailing Congress Party is expected to finish well behind the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in mid-term elections scheduled to take place over four days between 16 February 16 and 7 March.
- 1 Saudi Arabia mosque bombing: Two volunteer security guards hailed as heroes for stopping Isis suicide bomber reaching worshippers
- 2 Maisie Williams has an excellent message for one confused fan
- 3 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 4 Tampon tax scrapped in Canada after petition convinces conservative government
- 5 Kate Moss on the naked Calvin Klein shoot and the obsession that ended her relationship
Saudi Arabia mosque bombing: Two volunteer security guards hailed as heroes for stopping Isis suicide bomber reaching worshippers
Maisie Williams has an excellent message for one confused fan
Archaeologists discover 2,400-year-old gold bongs in Russia
Tampon tax scrapped in Canada after petition convinces conservative government
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after British tourists complain of 'awkward' holidays
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...
£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...