Amit Shah leans on Manoj Pandey in BJP’s fight against Rahul Gandhi in Rae Bareli

Amit Shah in Rae Bareli with Manoj Pandey

Video grab on X @manojpandeyweb

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Amit Shah visits house of Manoj Pandey in Rae Bareli

By Manish Anand

New Delhi, May 12: Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah on Sunday visited the house of the Samajwadi Party (SP) legislator Manoj Pandey in the Rae Bareli parliamentary constituency. Shah turned his focus on the Rae Bareli parliamentary constituency after former Congress president Rahul Gandhi filed his nomination papers from the seat.

Shah held a public meeting in the Rae Bareli parliamentary constituency. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Dinesh Pratap Singh from the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat.

The Union Minister for Home Affairs visited the house of the SP legislator. Earlier, the BJP’s candidate from the Amethi Lok Sabha seat and Union Minister Smriti Irani had also visited Pandey’s house.

Pandey has not yet quit the SP. “His resignation will disqualify him from the membership of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly. Thus, he will remain with the SP. He is hoping that the BJP will make him the deputy speaker of the UP Assembly after the Lok Sabha elections,” said a senior political functionary with past in the SP.

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Pandey is an incumbent MLA from the Unchahar Assembly seat in Rae Bareli. He hails from the Brahmin caste. “But Manoj Pandey had won the Assembly elections with the support of the Muslim and Yadav voters. Even if he supports the BJP, the vote base that had helped him win the Assembly election will not desert the SP,” said another senior political functionary from Rae Bareli.

The SP is supporting the Congress on the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat. The SP and the Congress have a pre-poll seat adjustment pact in UP. The SP has even in past elections supported the Congress in the Rae Bareli parliamentary seat.

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Shah has sent out a big message with visit to Rae Bareli that the BJP will pull all stops in the party’s battle against the Congress. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also hold a rally in Rae Bareli next week. The BJP is also planning to hold rallies of the UP Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, in Rae Bareli.

But the Congress is preparing for a fort-like defence of the pocket borough of the Gandhi family in Rae Bareli. The Congress national general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has taken guard in Rae Bareli. Former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel is leading a team of the Congress poll soldiers.

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The Congress parliamentary party president, Sonia Gandhi, had represented the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat from 2004 to 2024. She vacated the seat after winning the Rajya Sabha biennial elections from Rajasthan.

“The Congress is making all efforts to improve the victory margin of Rahul Gandhi from the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat. This is to send message to other Lok Sabha seats in UP from where the Congress is contesting,” noted a senior BJP functionary.

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