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  India   Politics  17 Jun 2024  Rahul to retain Rae Bareli seat

Rahul to retain Rae Bareli seat

THE ASIAN AGE. | VINEETA PANDEY
Published : Jun 18, 2024, 12:46 am IST
Updated : Jun 18, 2024, 12:46 am IST

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will make her electoral debut from Wayanad, a seat her brother Rahul Gandhi has decided to vacate

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi. (PTI)
 Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi. (PTI)

New Delhi: In a major political decision for the Gandhi family, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will make her electoral debut from Wayanad, a seat her brother Rahul Gandhi has decided to vacate. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge announced on Monday that Rahul Gandhi would retain the Rae Bareli seat in Uttar Pradesh and give up Wayanad.

Rahul Gandhi said it was a difficult choice but a win-win situation for the people of Wayanad, who can now consider they have two MPs – himself and Priyanka.

With their mother Sonia Gandhi a Rajya Sabha member from Rajasthan, and Rahul Gandhi a Lok Sabha MP from Rae Bareli, this would be the first time that three members of the Gandhi family will be in Parliament if Priyanka Gandhi won the Lok Sabha bypoll in Wayanad.

“I have deep emotional relationships with the people of both Wayanad and Rae Bareli. The last five years with the people of Wayanad have been fantastic. Its people have given me immense love regardless of their party. They gave me energy to fight in very difficult times. I will be grateful to them. Priyanka will contest from Wayanad and I am sure she will win, but I too will periodically go there and we will together fulfill all promises made to the people there,” said Rahul Gandhi.

Priyanka Gandhi, who has so far been the backstage force of the Congress, has taken much bigger strides in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. She played a larger role in strategising election plans, deciding candidates, and campaigning aggressively across the country. Though she has managed her brother Rahul’s Amethi constituency and her mother’s Rae Bareli constituency in the past, she has gradually taken on a more active role since 2019 when she was expected to contest from Uttar Pradesh. This year, she was also speculated to be a candidate from Amethi but supported the family’s old loyalist K.L. Sharma instead.

Wayanad is considered a safe seat, as Rahul Gandhi won with a huge margin from here in both 2019 and 2024. Rahul Gandhi shifted to Wayanad after facing a threat from Bharatiya Janata Party leader Smriti Irani in his family stronghold Amethi. Smriti won Amethi, and Rahul won Wayanad. Priyanka is married to businessman Robert Vadra.

The 52-year-old Priyanka, whose name was considered for the Congress candidacy in Amethi, Rae Bareli, and Varanasi parliamentary seats, will finally make her debut in electoral politics from the secure environs of Wayanad in Kerala, a state that Congress has almost swept in the 2019 and 2024 Lok Sabha elections. On the decision, Priyanka said she is not at all nervous about taking the plunge.

“I am happy to be able to represent Wayanad. I won’t let them feel his absence. I will work hard as a representative of Wayanad. I also have a very old relationship with Rae Bareli and have worked for 20 years in Amethi and Rae Bareli. I will continue to assist Rahul in Rae Bareli too,” said Priyanka Gandhi.

During the 2024 elections, Priyanka Gandhi participated in 108 public meetings and roadshows as she campaigned across 16 states and a Union Territory. Her speeches resonated with the people, particularly when she countered Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “mangalsutra” speech by saying her mother Sonia Gandhi sacrificed her “mangalsutra” for the country.

 

Tags: congress leader rahul gandhi, priyanka gandhi, indian national congress
Location: India, Uttar Pradesh