Rahul To Fight From Raebareli, Kishori Lal Sharma From Amethi

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Rahul To Fight From Raebareli, Kishori Lal Sharma From Amethi

| Updated: May 3, 2024 13:39

The party’s decision came on the last day for nomination filing by candidates for the two seats

The Congress finally announced on Friday that Rahul Gandhi would be its Lok Sabha candidate from Raebareli. The party’s decision came on the last day for nomination filing by candidates for the prestigious seat.

The party has fielded Kishori Lal Sharma from Amethi. In a last-minute decision, the Congress fielded Sharma against Union Minister Smriti Irani in Amethi, where Rahul Gandhi  suffered defeat in th 2019 elections.

Elections in Amethi and Raebareli will be held on May 20 in the fifth round of the seven-phase poll process.

Rahul Gandhi, who is also seeking re-election from Kerala’s Wayanad, will face BJP’s Dinesh Pratap Singh in Raebareli. Singh had lost to Sonia Gandhi in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Sonia Gandhi bastion

Raebareli has been represented by Sonia Gandhi for four terms until she was elected to Rajya Sabha this year. Her decision not to contest the election this time, sparked speculation that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra might contest from Raebareli. 

Earlier this month, Sonia Gandhi took oath as a Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan, filling the seat left vacant after former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s tenure ended on April 3.

The Congress announcements come after much speculation and anticipation in all circles. There was a heated debate over whether the Congress would field members of the Gandhi family from these two seats. 

In 2019, Rahul, the incumbent MP from Amethi back then, lost the seat to Smriti Irani. He, however, got elected to Parliament from Kerala’s Wayanad, a seat that he is contesting this time as well. Amethi was once considered a Congress bastion.

Smriti Irani attack

Irani has been attacking the Congress, asserting that she did in five years what Rahul couldn’t do in 15. BJP leaders have suggested that the Congress was indecisive in picking its candidates for these seats because they feared defeat.

The Amethi parliamentary constituency, created in 1967, was a Congress bastion before 2019. Till then, it was ruled by non-Congress parties only twice, and that too only for four years. First, it was post-Emergency in 1977, when a Janata Party candidate won and remained its representative in the Lok Sabha till 1980. The second time, Sanjay Singh won on a BJP ticket in 1998. 

Rahul Gandhi won his first Lok Sabha election from Amethi and went on to win again in 2009. Irani fought against Rahul in 2014, a contest he won, but with a reduced margin. Irani, however, continued to work actively in the constituency, emerging a winner in 2019.

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