April 21, 2024

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Suspense Grows Over Gandhis' Gameplan For Amethi, Raebareli

New Delhi:

The Congress announced another list of candidates this evening that left only three seats undecided in Uttar Pradesh — among them the Gandhi stronghold Raebareli, and Amethi, which turned against the Congress, voting en masse for BJP’s Smriti Irani in 2019.

Though Rahul Gandhi filed his candidature from Wayanad yesterday, there is no word on the fate of Amethi, which he won thrice before losing it to Smriti Irani.

Raebareli had its sitting MP, Sonia Gandhi, shifting to parliament’s Upper house Rajya Sabha.

There is a desire  in the Congress that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra take over her mother’s seat, while Rahul Gandhi make another effort to win back Amethi.

The BJP camp is gleefully watching the situation, remarking that Mr Gandhi is not too keen on Amethi for fear of another defeat.

The Gandhis, they also point out, are not frequent visitors in Raebareli and Amethi. Mr Gandhi passed through his former constituency during his recent Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, after a very long time. The Gandhis do not even have a house in the constituency.

There is concern that in case the Gandhi siblings decide to contest from these two seats, their long absence would feature prominently in the campaign of the BJP, which is eager to add the Gandhi bastions to its kitty.

The party, which has been aiming at 370 seats this time, is expecting the biggest chunk to come from the 80-seat Uttar Pradesh.

Smriti Irani, meanwhile, will be in Wayanad on Thursday to support the BJP candidate — the party’s state unit chief K Surendran.

“Under the dynamic leadership of Smt. Smriti Irani Ji, Amethi has seen significant development, moving past the era of ineffective governance. With Wayanad confronting similar challenges, it’s time for a united effort towards transformative change,” Mr Surendran has posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Sources in the Congress said the party’s election committee will meet on April 5, where the final decision about Amethi and Raebareli will be taken.

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