Congress Set to Announce Candidates for Amethi and Raebareli

Congress Set to Announce Candidates for Amethi and Raebareli

The suspense over the Congress’s candidates for the Amethi and Raebareli Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh is expected to end today, just one day before the nomination deadline. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge is set to announce the candidates for the two seats today.

Congress Set to Announce Candidates for Amethi and Raebareli

Speculation has been rife regarding the candidature of former party president Rahul Gandhi and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for Amethi and Raebareli, respectively. Rahul Gandhi, who faced an unexpected defeat in Amethi to BJP’s Smriti Irani in 2019, is expected to contest from there again, possibly alongside his current constituency, Kerala’s Wayanad.

For Raebareli, held by Sonia Gandhi since 2004, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s entry into electoral politics is anticipated. However, discussions within the party suggest a hesitancy towards fielding all three Gandhi family members in parliament, considering the “dynastic politics” charge that the party is often subjected to by the BJP. Despite the delay in the announcement, Congress leaders reassured on Wednesday that the party is not deterred. Senior party leader Jairam Ramesh said that there is no fear and discussions are ongoing. The last date for nominations is tomorrow (May 3).

“The Gandhi family is very popular and lakhs of people are coming to their public meetings. The decision has been now left to the CEC,” Congress leader Rajeev Shukla said.

The Amethi constituency had been synonymous with the Gandhi family’s political legacy, represented by Rahul Gandhi since 2004 until his defeat in 2019. Similarly, Raebareli has been the stronghold of the Gandhi family, with Sonia Gandhi representing it from 2004 to 2024.

Feroze Gandhi, Indira Gandhi’s husband and Congress leader, triumphed twice from Raebareli in 1952 and 1957. Arun Nehru, grandnephew of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, clinched victories in a 1980 bypoll and in 1984. Sheila Kaul, Jawaharlal Nehru’s sister-in-law, secured wins in 1989 and 1991. Members of the Nehru-Gandhi family abstained from contesting the seat on only two occasions, in 1962 and 1999.

With the Congress contesting 17 out of UP’s 80 Lok Sabha seats, in alliance with the Samajwadi Party and other regional outfits, the selection of candidates for these key constituencies is of paramount importance for the opposition INDIA bloc.

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