Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha Election 2024: Congress Fields Rahul Gandhi From Raebareli, KL Sharma From Amethi

Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha Election 2024: Congress Fields Rahul Gandhi From Raebareli, KL Sharma From Amethi

In an official release, the party declared Rahul Gandhi as its candidate from Raebareli and Kishori Lal Sharma as the candidate for the Amethi seat.

Rahul MUpdated: Friday, May 03, 2024, 08:40 AM IST
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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi |

Congress party, on Friday, which was the last day for nominations for the fifth phase, put an end to all speculations by formally announcing its candidates for the prestigious seats of Raebareli and Amethi.

In an official release, the party declared Rahul Gandhi as its candidate from Raebareli and Kishori Lal Sharma as the candidate for the Amethi seat.

Both the seats will go to polls on May 20 in the fifth round of the seven-phase general elections.

From Raebareli, Rahul Gandhi will face BJP's Dinesh Pratap Singh in the general election. Rahul's mother and former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi held this seat since 2004 until she became a Rajya Sabha member last month.

After Sonia Gandhi was elected to the upper house of parliament from Rajasthan, it was widely speculated that her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra might contest from Raebareli.

The dalay in annoucement had frustrated the party workers in the contituency. On Tuesday, the party workers from Amethi held a sit-in protest demanding a Gandhi family member as its candidate for the seat.

Traditional strongholds of the Gandhi-Nehru family

Raebareli has been a stronghold for the Congress party, with the party winning this constituency in all but three Lok Sabha elections since 1951. Former prime minister Indira Gandhi won from Raebareli thrice, before Sonia Gandhi. Even Indira's husband and Congress leader Feroze Gandhi won the seat twice, in 1952 and 1957. With the exception of 1962 and 1999, a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family has contested and won the election from Raebareli.

The Congress party found it challenging to select candidates from Amethi and Raebareli while fighting Lok Sabha elections to prevent Narendra Modi from becoming Prime Minister for the third time.

With the BJP repeating Union Minister Smriti Irani for the Amethi seat—who defeated Rahul Gandhi in 2019—Congress feared a repeat of the previous result and found itself in a catch-22 situation as its allies were demanding that Rahul take on the BJP where it is strong after the Congress party announced Rahul Gandhi's candidacy from Wayanad.

Before the setback in 2019, the Amethi seat was considered the bastion of the Congress party. Rahul Gandhi represented the seat from 2004 to 2019. Before him, the seat elected Sonia Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, and Sanjay Gandhi."

As part of the seat-sharing agreement with the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Congress is contesting 17 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. The party has announced its candidates for all the seats except for Amethi and Raebareli. Amethi is set to vote in the fifth phase on May 20, and the deadline for filing nominations is May 3.

Amethi is scheduled to poll in the fifth phase on May 20, with the last date for filing nominations scheduled on May 3.

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