Amid suspense, Rahul Gandhi veering towards fighting from Rae Bareli

NEW DELHI: Suspense peaked over the possible Congress candidates for Amethi and Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seats, as the party pushed an announcement to the last moment after teasing for many days that a decision was on the way.
Till midnight, the party had not made any names public, and looked set to leave it for the nomination time on Friday, the last date for filing papers.
The deferment came after two days of feverish speculation about whether Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will fight from UP.
Sources said Rahul had expressed his unwillingness to contest, but by midnight, was veering around to the idea of contesting from Rae Bareli, instead of Amethi that he represented from 2004-19.


Rae Bareli sitting MP Sonia Gandhi has moved to Rajya Sabha. Rahul apparently had earlier agreed to contest. Till late night, sources said party leaders were trying to talk him out of his unwillingness. Priyanka is almost ruled out from contesting the LS polls. If neither of them contests, then party loyalists would file papers.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi and AICC general secretary KC Venugopal are said to have held a discussion on the subject in Shimoga in Karnataka after a public rally Thursday afternoon. “A final decision will only be known with a formal announcement. Nothing is clear yet,” a senior leader said.

While there were reports that the Gandhi family members may travel to Amethi and Rae Bareli on Friday morning, it is an old tradition during the elections, given the bond Congress’s first family has with the seats once considered its borough.
Speculation about the twin seats has peaked in the past few days. Many alliance party functionaries who emerged from a preparatory meeting held by constituency manager KL Sharma on Thursday told reporters that Rahul will file the nomination on Friday morning.
By late night, there were reports that Congress had sought permission from the administration for a road show, while footage from Amethi of trucks bringing hoardings bearing pictures of Rahul and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav also went viral on social media.
According to a party manager, there has been indecision on the issue because of various reasons, the key being Rahul’s concern about leaving Wayanad, which he won in 2019 even as he lost Amethi. While he has expressed confidence about his prospects in Amethi, in line with the party’s positive feedback, Rahul has been worried about the optics of quitting Kerala eventually.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *