Congress takes longshot at Rahul Gandhi, Smriti Irani battle in Amethi

Image credit X @RahulGandhi

Image credit X @RahulGandhi

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Congress may announce candidates for Amethi, Raebareli Lok Sabha seats next week

By Manish Anand

New Delhi, April 12: The Samajwadi Party (SP) wants former Congress president Rahul Gandhi to contest from the Amethi Lok Sabha seat. The Congress continues to fuel the rumour mills buzzing with speculations. The Congress is yet to unveil candidates for the Amethi and the Raebareli Lok Sabha seats.

The Congress may announce the names of the candidates for the two coveted seats next week. The Congress is learnt to be waiting for the people in Wayanad to cast votes on April 26. Rahul Gandhi is in the fray from the Muslim dominated Wayanad Lok Sabha seat.

“Amethi Lok Sabha seat is slated for election in the fifth phase. This gives space to the party to take a measured view on the seat. The question of legacy is evident,” said a senior Congress functionary.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also has its own share of seats where it is sweating out to field candidates. The BJP announced a candidate for Ghazipur after much delay. The parliamentary constituency tests the BJP skills to reconcile pulls and pressures of regional satraps.

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The BJP is yet to name a candidate for the Kaisarganj Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh. The district administration booked the incumbent MP, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, for violating the poll code. The restive wrestler turned parliamentarian is turning impatient with the BJP keeping him on the waitlist.

The Congress circle is buzzing with prospects of Rahul Gandhi renewing his unfinished battle with Union Minister Smriti Irani. The score chart is currently at level. Rahul Gandhi defeated Smriti Irani in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Smiriti Irani defeated Rahul Gandhi in the 2019 LOk Sabha elections.

“The Congress is picking up feedback. There is a change in scenarios between 2019 and 2024. Uttar Pradesh has been a political turf of the Gandhi family,” added the Congress functionary.

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Rahul Gandhi faces risk of being dubbed a timid leader if he abandons Amethi Lok Sabha seat. The party insiders argue that abandoning Amethi will be contrary to the image that Rahul Gandhi wishes to project.

While the Congress will take a decision on Amethi Lok Sabha seat after the polling in Wayanad, the Opposition outfit is also building suspense in the Raebareli constituency. The Congress national general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has not yet been electorally launched. In 2019, during the campaign trail, she had told local reporters in Amethi: “Should I contest elections.”

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Robert Vadra, husband of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, is entertaining the locals in the Raebareli constituency. His posters are on walls. He is sending out the message that if the first members of the Gandhi family are cold-feeted then he is ready to launch himself with battle gears.

The scale however leans favourably for the Gandhi family members to enter the electoral arena. A section of the Congress leaders argue that the Gandhi family members should weigh the “visible signs of anti-incumbency against the BJP MPs in UP”.

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