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Vajpayee niece to join Congress

New Delhi, Feb 26 (): Congress is going to town with a prize catch. Karana Shula, Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s niece, is set to join Congress. This could give Congress a relief as many are deserting. Karuna Shukla joining the party would help score brownie points.

Congress sources said Shukla’s entry could be announced in a couple of days with fanfare. Shukla joining the Congress is not going to bring in votes but the party can use her background to create a campaign against BJP.

After winning the Chattisgarh Jangir LS seat in 2004, she was elevated to BJP national VP post due to her family background. Just before the Assembly elections, she quit saying that BJP was not following her uncle’s principles. Shukla’s public outburst that her uncle’s policy of rajdharma was not followed and BJP was carrying the Modi’s legacy of communal riots. BJP would find it difficult to counter Shukla as it would have to drag in the ailing veteran party leader into the fight.

The Congress which saw Rajmohan Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri’s grandson joining Aam Aadmi Party and 7 of its Gujarat MLAs going to the BJP, now can take solace in Shukla’s joining as having great value. Although Congress was not willing to confirm the plan, sources said Shukla would join.

The Congress had Vidya Charan Shukla and Shyama Charan Shukla who could bag Brahmin votes but as they passed away, the party hopes that Shukla’s entry would fill the vacuum and woo the upper castes in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Shukla hails from Chhattisgarh.

Congress is now fishing around for some prize catches and eminent intellectuals to stand for Lok Sabha elections. Rahul has mooted the plan to put up technocrats to woo the educated urban youth to the party. Rahul took a dig at Vaypayee recently saying that the leader mocked Rajiv Gandhi’s computerization drive.