NEW DELHI: Compassionate, strong-willed, fun-loving, stylish and yet graceful. This is how people who have observed Priyanka Gandhi Vadra from close quarters prefer to describe her.
“She is strong-willed,” said a party insider recalling how Priyanka anchored the family after the assassination of her father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991.
“She took care of her mother Sonia, who had refused to join active politics as brother Rahul went abroad for higher studies,” he said.
Her style and sense of dressing, carrying off both western wear and traditional saree with equal grace, added to her charm and made her stand out as she grew into an adult.
After her marriage to businessman Robert Vadra, Priyanka remained focused on raising her two children — daughter Miraya and son Rehan — letting her political ambitions take a back seat.
However, she did keep an ear to the ground and was there to help her mother, who became the Congress chief in 1998.
A few years later, she was instrumental in rolling out a scheme to organise local women self-help groups in Amethi and Rae Bareli, considered the pocket boroughs of the Gandhis, and regularly monitored its progress along with Rahul.
“She does not hesitate to squat on the mud-paved floor while interacting with rural women,” a senior party leader in UP said.
Having grown up under a tight security cover, Priyanka ensured her children enjoyed normal thrills of school life and often took them to some malls in South Delhi.
Now a politician, Priyanka has a spiritual side too, as attends Vipassana sessions occasionally for inner peace and calm mind.