Rahul Gandhi Files Nomination from Rae Bareli, Skips Amethi

Rahul Gandhi files nomination papers from Rae Bareli, switching from his traditional seat of Amethi after losing to BJP's Smriti Irani in 2019. The Congress party fields Kishori Lal Sharma, a Gandhi family loyalist, as its candidate from Amethi against Irani.

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Rahul Gandhi Files Nomination from Rae Bareli, Skips Amethi

Rahul Gandhi Files Nomination from Rae Bareli, Skips Amethi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi filed his nomination papers from the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh on Friday, accompanied by his mother Sonia Gandhi, sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and party president Mallikarjun Kharge. Gandhi's decision to contest from Rae Bareli instead of his traditional seat of Amethi comes after his defeat to BJP leader and Union Minister Smriti Irani in the 2019 general elections.

Why this matters: The shift in Rahul Gandhi's constituency reflects the changing political landscape in Uttar Pradesh, a crucial state in Indian politics. This development may have significant implications for the Congress party's strategy and performance in the 2024 general elections.

The Congress has fielded Kishori Lal Sharma, a Gandhi family loyalist with no experience in contesting elections, as its candidate from Amethi against Irani. This move has drawn criticism from the BJP, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi cautioning Gandhi, "Daro mat (don't be afraid), bhaigo mat (don't run away)". Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also called out Gandhi at a campaign rally in Rohtak, saying, "Rahul Gandhi left the battleground and ran away to Wayanad. When his party wanted him to contest elections again from Amethi, he chose Rae Bareli. We all know what to call a person who runs away from the battle."

Union Minister and BJP candidate Smriti Irani said Gandhi's decision to switch Amethi for Rae Bareli shows that they have already conceded defeat. Rae Bareli has been a Congress stronghold, with Sonia Gandhi continuing her winning streak since 2004 till the 2019 polls. The seat has withstood the Modi wave during the last two consecutive elections of 2014 and 2019.

Amethi had been a bastion of the Gandhi family, with Sonia Gandhi vacating the seat for Rahul in 2004. He continued to represent it in the Lok Sabha until his defeat to Irani in 2019. The loss of Amethi, which Rahul had won in 2004, 2009 and 2014, was seen as a major setback for the Congress party.

As the 2024 general elections approach, Rahul Gandhi's decision to contest from Rae Bareli instead of Amethi reflects the changing political landscape in Uttar Pradesh. With the BJP aiming to retain its dominance and the Congress looking to regain lost ground, the battle for these key constituencies will be closely watched. Rae Bareli, which has elected Sonia Gandhi as its representative 17 out of 20 times, now emerges as a safer seat for Rahul Gandhi to mount hiselectoral campaign.

Key Takeaways

  • Rahul Gandhi files nomination from Rae Bareli, not Amethi, after 2019 defeat.
  • Shift reflects changing UP political landscape, impacting Congress' 2024 strategy.
  • BJP criticizes Gandhi, saying he's "running away" from Amethi battleground.
  • Rae Bareli, a Congress stronghold, is seen as a safer seat for Gandhi.
  • 2024 elections will closely watch battles in key UP constituencies like Rae Bareli and Amethi.