Rahul Gandhi and sister Priyanka in Raebareli

Rahul Gandhi, in the middle of a general election, showered some TLC on his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at a poll rally in Uttar Pradesh.

Idhar aao, idhar aao (come here, come here),” said Mr Gandhi turning to her sister who was present on the stage. A smiling KC Venugopal, Mr Gandhi’s trusted aide, gestures with his hand for her to go up to the dais.

Mr Gandhi, 53, then fondly touches the face of her 52-year-old sister. His arm slung around her shoulder, he addresses the Raebareli crowd again.

Ye jo meri behan hai iska main dil se dhanyawaad karta hoon ki jab main desh main campaigning kar raha hoon chunaav main toh ye yahan mere liye, meri madad ke liye apna khoon pasina ek kar rahi hai. Dil se bahut bahut dhanyawaad (I want to thank my sister from the bottom of my heart. When I am campaigning across the country for the polls, she is here putting in all the work, her blood and sweat. My heartfelt thanks to her),” said Mr Gandhi.

Priyanka Gandhi, in her speech, returned the love and pitched her brother as the ideal candidate and someone who has courage. Lots of it, she added.

Main ye jaroor kahungi, bhai hai mere. Sachha dil hai, sachhe insaan hain. Manch par khade hoke, satta ke liye kabhi aapko gumraah nahi karenge. Hamesha sachhayi ki ladai ladi hai, nyaya ki ladai ladi hai. Kisi se dare nahi (I will definitely say that this brother of mine is an honest person; he has an honest heart. He will not mislead you for power. He has always fought for truth and justice. He is not afraid of anyone),” said Ms Gandhi, who is leading the Congress’ poll outreach campaign in Raebareli.

 “Inko ghar se nikala gaya, sandsad se nikala gaya. Dhamkaya gaya. Tamaam case daale gaye, koi Gujarat main, koi Bihar main, par ye peeche nahi hate. Aur kabhi peeche nahi hatenge. Inme sahas hai, sachhai hai. Inse achha pratyashi aapko nahi mil sakta (He was ousted from his home. Disqualified from parliament. He was threatened. He had multiple cases against him, some in Gujarat, some in Bihar. But he did not back off. And he will never back off. He has courage, honesty. You will not find a better candidate than him),” said Ms Gandhi.

Back in UP, Rahul Gandhi is contesting from the family stronghold of Raebareli, a seat represented by her mother Sonia Gandhi, who moved to the Rajya Sabha earlier this year.

Mr Gandhi will square off against BJP’s Dinesh Pratap Singh.

The prestige seat has been represented by Mr Gandhi’s grandmother, Indira Gandhi, and grandfather, Feroze Gandhi, in the Lok Sabha.

Polling in Raebareli will be held in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections on May 20.