The Congress on Saturday sought to downplay Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s brother Daljeet Singh Kholi joining the Bharatiya Janata Party.

While the BJP was trying to derive political mileage from the development, the Congress did not go to town when the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s niece joined the Congress, the party’s national spokesperson, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, said here.

“Mr. Vajpayee’s niece was much more in active politics and a sitting MLA,” he said, adding that such was not the case with Dr. Singh's brother.

“The gentleman you are referring to is singing paeans to the BJP after saying that he has known it for five days,” Mr. Singhvi said, addressing a press conference.

Describing Dr. Singh as an “exemplary Prime Minister”, the Congress leader said he was totally unlike the “previous PMO” keeping every relative away from his office.

Admitting that there was incumbency against the Congress after 10 years in power, Mr. Singhvi said the Congress should communicate with the people strongly and in a better way. “It is the first time after Nehru that a government has completed 10 years. First and foremost fact to be proud of…,” he said.

Asked whether Priyanka Gandhi should campaign more, the Congress leader said she had always maintained that she was in active politics but she had decided to limit her campaigning to the constituencies of her mother and brother.

Asked about the possibility of a post-poll alliance with the Left parties, the Congress leader did not rule it out.

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