Barabanki (UP): The rivalry between senior Congress leaders Beni Prasad Verma and P L Punia today came to the fore as party vice president Rahul Gandhi ormally kicked off election campaign through a road show here.
Though supporters of local MP and chairman of National Scheduled Caste commission Punia were present to welcome Gandhi all along the route, Verma and his supporters in his home district here were conspicuous by their absence.
Sources close to Verma said that he has left for Delhi.
The Union minister had already announced that he would not be present during the road show.
Though relations between Verma and Punia have been strained all through, the former was expected to join the road show by Gandhi in his home district.
Recently, Verma had publicly expressed his displeasure over the party "not fully utilising" his capabilities and had also opposed primaries for selection of candidates terming it as auction.