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Wayanad or Raebareli? Rahul’s Key Decision Next Week

Sources in the Congress said that Rahul Gandhi will make the decision known on Monday.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is likely to end his dilemma on Monday over which Lok Sabha seat to retain — Wayanad or Raebareli.

Sources in the Congress said that he will make the decision known on Monday.

Gandhi won both the seats with a thumping majority.

In Wayanad, he was the sitting Lok Sabha member which he contested and won in the recently concluded polls. He also won from Raebareli, considered to be the family’s traditional seat. It was last represented by his mother Sonia Gandhi, who did not contest the seat and became a Rajya Sabha member.

Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday was in his constituency to thank his voters where he said that he was in dilemma over which seat to retain and which to quit. He said whatever decision he makes, all will be happy.

After this statement, speculation is rife that his sister, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, may be fielded from here.

At a public meeting in Kalpetta on Wednesday, State Congress president and Kannur Lok Sabha member K. Sudhakaran said that Rahul Gandhi will vacate the Wayanad seat for the larger interest of the party.

However, Congress legislator and former State Minister A.P. Anilkumar, who represents the Wandoor Assembly seat in the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, said all of them want Rahul Gandhi to retain the Wayanad seat.

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Rahul Gandhi Shifts to Raebareli, Amethi to Witness New Contestant

Rahul Gandhi’s decision to shift to Raebareli seat has averted a keen contest in Amethi where Union Minister and BJP MP Smriti Irani is seeking a second term…reports Asian Lite News

Ending days of suspense, the Congress has finally announced that Rahul Gandhi will contest from the Raebareli Lok Sabha constituency, the seat held earlier by his mother Sonia Gandhi.

The Amethi Lok Sabha seat will be contest by Kishori Lal Sharma, a Gandhi family loyalist.

According to sources, Rahul Gandhi will arrive by a special flight at Fursatganj airport at 10:30 a.m. on Friday and will file his nomination papers at 12:15 p.m.

He will thereafter leave for Pune.

Rahul Gandhi’s decision to shift to Raebareli seat has averted a keen contest in Amethi where Union Minister and BJP MP Smriti Irani is seeking a second term.

In Raebareli, he will be facing Dinesh Pratap Singh, a veteran Congressman, who is the BJP candidate.

If there is one Lok Sabha seat in the country that can claim to have the longest association with the Gandhi family, it is the Rae Bareli seat in Uttar Pradesh.

Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest from the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat shows that the family still cherishes its ties with this constituency, but it will not be a cakewalk this time.

Situated on the banks of the Sai River, 82 km southeast of Lucknow, Rae Bareli can truly be termed a Congress bastion.

After Independence, barring three occasions, the Congress has been continuously winning the seat.

Feroz Gandhi, husband of Indira Gandhi, first won Rae Bareli in 1952 and then in 1957. After he died in 1960, R.P. Singh and Baijnath Kureel won the seat till Indira Gandhi took it over in 1967.

In 1977, Raj Narain of Janata Party defeated Indira Gandhi but Rae Bareli went back to Indira Gandhi in 1980.

In 1996 and 1998, the seat was won by BJP’s Ashok Singh but during this period, no member of the Gandhi family was in active politics.

From 2004 to 2019 Sonia Gandhi retained this seat.

Earlier this year, she opted for Rajya Sabha, apparently due to health reasons, and wrote an emotional note to the people of her constituency, chronicling her family ties with them and promising to maintain the relationship.

While Rae Bareli has remained loyal to the Gandhi family in the past decades, the party cadres in the constituency have almost wilted away.

Of the five Assembly seats, four — Bachhrawan (SC), Harchandpur, Sareni and Unchahar — are held by the Samajwadi Party while the Sadar seat is held by the BJP.

The prolonged absence of the Gandhis from Rae Bareli and the emergence of ‘middlemen’ who claim to act as a bridge between the people and their leader have driven away most of the local leaders to other parties.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been occasionally visiting her mother’s constituency but has not found time to interact directly with grassroots workers.

As things stand today, Congress has virtually no presence left in the constituency though the older generation of voters are still emotionally inclined towards the Gandhis.

The young generation of voters, however, is deeply influenced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Rahul Gandhi will face an uphill task in bringing Congress veterans back to the centre stage and getting the act together.

He will need to work hard to preserve the seven-decade-old relationship of his family with the constituency.

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