Congress leader Rahul Gandhi filed his nomination from Uttar Pradesh’s Raebareli Lok Sabha constituency on Friday.
Rahul was accompanied by Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress Parliamentary Party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi and her husband and businessman Robert Vadra.
Earlier in the day, Congress announced Rahul Gandhi as the party candidate from Raebareli, the seat vacated recently by his mother Sonia Gandhi when she became a member of Rajya Sabha.
Rahul is pitted against Congress defector and three-time MLC Dinesh Pratap Singh in Raebareli. A sitting MP from Kerala’s Wayanad, Rahul is also seeking a fresh term in the Lower House from the seat that polled in Phase 2 of the general elections on April 26.
Earlier, Union Minister Smriti Irani said that Congress had conceded defeat from the constituency even before a vote was cast, adding that the opposition party would not have fielded a “proxy candidate” (Kishori Lal Sharma) if they were hopeful about the outcome of the polls.
“I welcome the guests to Amethi. The fact that the Gandhis are not fighting in Amethi shows that even before a vote has been cast, they are losing from Amethi. If they had seen even a glimmer of hope, they would have contested and not put up a proxy candidate,” Smriti Irani told reporters in Amethi.
Smriti Irani said that Rahul Gandhi’s candidature from Raebareli is a “victory” for the people in Amethi.
“There has been great development in Amethi…if this much has been accomplished in 5 years out of which two years were lost to the battle against Covid, then why was it not done for 50 years in Amethi by the Gandhi family? I want to assure the people of Amethi that the Modi government will return, and we will continue to work for people here, with development being the centre of our focus. Today before a vote has been cast, history has been made. I am grateful to the people of Amethi. Today is the victory of the people of Amethi,” Irani said.
Irani recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks about “Congress waiting for elections to conclude in Kerala” so that a safe seat could be announced for Rahul Gandhi later.
“PM Modi had already warned the public that Rahul Gandhi will look for a new seat once voting concludes in Wayanad. Congress leadership is going away from the battlefield,” she said.
In Amethi, the Congress will be represented by Kishori Lal Sharma, a longtime loyalist of the Gandhi family. Kishori Lal Sharma filed his nomination from the Amethi seat earlier in the day.
The voting in both seats will be held in the fifth phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections on May 7. Polling for 25 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat will be held in a single phase on May 7, with the counting of votes scheduled for June 4. (ANI)