Priyanka Gandhi Vadra emphatically denied what she called “conjecture” and “baseless rumours” about her taking a key post in the Congress party.
“Constant conjecture about my assuming various posts in Congress and the manner this issue is brought up at opportune moments is incorrect,” Priyanka said in a statement.
“I would be very grateful to all concerned if they desisted from encouraging such baseless rumors,” she added.
Reports had suggested that the 42-year-old daughter of Congress president Sonia Gandhi could soon take a larger role in the party.
One report said Priyanka, a mother of two, may choose to be a general secretary or the chief of the party in Uttar Pradesh and this could happen after the assembly elections due later this year.
Her brother Rahul Gandhi, 44, led the Congress campaign for the national election in May with disastrous results. The party won 44 seats in its worst performance ever.
The rout brought Mr Gandhi’s leadership under harsh scrutiny with some Congress leaders openly calling for introspection and change. Party men in UP recently put up posters that said, “Congress ka Moon, Priyanka is coming soon (Congress’ main face will join the party soon).”
Party sources said Priyanka’s statement was as much a message to Congress leaders as the media.
The rumblings within the Congress had prompted senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley to link Rahul Gandhi’s show of protest in Parliament on Wednesday to fears of a “palace coup”.
“Better if you lead your own party than develop a contrived aggression against the functioning of the House,” Mr Jaitley taunted, after Rahul protested in the well of Lok Sabha and alleged that “only one man’s voice is being heard in Parliament” – seen as an allusion to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Priyanka managed the campaigns of her mother and brother in Rae Bareli and Amethi, the only seats that the party won in Uttar Pradesh. In the last lap of the election, she emerged as the Congress’ chief firefighter against a litany of attacks from the BJP, leading to strong speculation that she was the party’s “Plan B”.