Congress President Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Vadra today denied a newspaper report that there was a proposal for her to contest against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha elections.
She also told NDTV television news channel that her family, including elder brother Rahul Gandhi, the vice-president of the party, would whole-heartedly support her if she ever decided to fight an election.
"No one in my family would ever stop me from contesting an election. My brother, mother and husband would wholeheartedly support me if I wanted to contest," NDTV quoted he as saying.
"My brother has expressed to me many times that he thinks I should contest,' she said.
Ms Vadra said that she would, for the present, continue to focus on managing the election campaigns of her brother Rahul Gandhi in Amethi and her mother Sonia in Rae Bareli, both in Uttar Pradesh.
"My decision to not contest is personal. I will only change it when I feel from within I should," she said.
Ms Vadra's comments today addressed the oft-expressed view that she could overshadow her brother, who is leading the Congress in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, if she played a larger role in politics.
The Times of India said in a front-page lead story today that Ms Vadra was learnt to have been keen on being the party's candidate against Mr Modi, and that the party leadership finally decided against it.
Ms Vadra has limited her political role to managing Rahul Gandhi's and Sonia Gandhi's campaigns in Amethi and Rae Bareli.
According to the newspaper, she is believed to have made a strong pitch to contest because she felt Mr Modi was "bad for the country" and needed to be "stopped".
The report said a section of Congress leaders felt that her candidature would have sent out a strong message to the party's workers and the electorate at large.
It said the party's decision not to field Ms Vadra was based on the logic of preferring a local leader to take on Mr Modi, who belongs to Gujarat. There was also the fear that it would have exposed her to attacks from Mr Modi and the BJP on account of her husband Robert Vadra's alleged land deals.
The report said there was also a fear that her candidature would have diverted attention from Mr Rahul Gandhi and his campaign and raised questions whether her entry was an implicit acknowledgement of "her brother's lacklustre leadership".