Rahul Gandhi’s Rae Bareli or Wayanad dilemma holds clues for LoP in Lok Sabha

Rahul Gandhi roadshow in Wayanad in Kerala

Image credit X @INCIndia

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Rahul Gandhi decision on retaining Lok Sabha seat may clear way for LoP in Lok Sabha

By Manish Anand

New Delhi, June 12: Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi was in Wayanad in Kerala on Wednesday. He profusely thanked the electorate in the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat.

It was his Thanksgiving visit to the Wayanad parliamentary constituency from where he won for the second time in a row.

Rahul Gandhi has also won from the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat. The question definitely on the minds of the Congress leaders is about the impending decision of Rahul Gandhi on the Lok Sabha seat that he would be retaining.

He has to resign either from Rae Bareli or Wayanad Lok Sabha seat. “My decision will make the people in Rae Bareli, as well as Wayanad happy,” said Rahul Gandhi.

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So that feeds to the speculation about the impending decision of Rahul Gandhi. Will he quit the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat and give a space to somebody from Kerala to become leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha?

Or, he will quit the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat to make way for Congress General Secretary and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to enter into the Lok Sabha?

Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have been campaigning together in elections. Both are being credited for turning around the fortunes of the main Opposition party.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was actively campaigning for the Congress all across the country, holding a lot of public meetings.

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Rahul Gandhi dropped hints of the electoral direction of his sister in future. In a speech in the Amethi Lok Sabha seat, he said that if his sister had contested from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would have lost the elections by a margin of two to three lakh votes.

So that makes it ample clear that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra entering into electoral politics is definitely at the back of the mind of the Congress leaders.

In that context, both the brother and sister could be in the Lok Sabha in near future.

The Congress has strong roots in Kerala and Rahul Gandhi will definitely not want to disappoint the party leaders in Kerala.

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So, the decision that he makes on his retaining the Lok Sabha seat, either from Wayanad or from Rae Bareli, will be part of a long-term planning and strategy of the Congress.

The Congress may choose somebody from Kerala to become the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha in the event, Rahul Gandhi vacates the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat.

Political observers believe that the choice could fall on senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor. He represents the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat.

Shashi Tharoor, who is a founder of the professional Congress, has long been seen as a potential choice for the Congress to take the position of the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha.

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The previous person to hold the position was Adhi Ranjan Chowdhury, who has lost the Lok Sabha elections.

Therefore, the Congress has to find a new face to fill that position after two terms of the Lok Sabha.

This will be the first time that the Congress would officially be claiming the status of the leader of the opposition in the lower House of parliament.

In that event, the role of the leader of the Opposition will become pivotal. Rahul Gandhi has dropped enough hints that the Opposition would be not letting the pressure off the treasury benches.

In fact, Rahul Gandhi held a presser to demand a joint parliamentary committee probe into the alleged stock market rigging with the help of the exit polls results.

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So, the Congress will need somebody who is combative in the role of the leader of the Opposition.

Shashi Tharoor is an argumentative leader of the Congress. He’s a debater, and he naturally fits the requirement of the post. He is combative as well.

He had been Union Minister of State for the external affairs in the UPA government. So, he has experience of being part of the government as well in the past.

So, will Shashi Tharoor be the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha?

The choice will be known after Rahul Gandhi makes his decision on retaining the Lok Sabha seat from Rae Bareli or Wayanad in Kerala.

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