A day after the Congress party’s announcement that Rahul Gandhi will be a candidate in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections from Amethi, senior leader Harish Rawat revealed that Gandhi will also fight the poll battle from Wayanad.
“Amethi is Rahul Gandhi’s ‘natural seat’ but he will also fight from Wayanad because Wayanad supported him at the time of crisis,” Rawat was quoted as saying on Saturday.
Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Rai on Friday announced that Gandhi will contest the coming Lok Sabha election from Amethi. “Rahul Gandhi will definitely contest the Lok Sabha election from Amethi, the people of Amethi are here,” Rai said.
Amethi had served as a stronghold for the Gandhi family with Rahul Gandhi consecutively representing the constituency as an MP from 2004. However, in the 2019 general elections, the grand old party’s traditional grip was broken when BJP’s Smriti Irani emerged victorious, leading to Rahul Gandhi’s defeat.
Sources indicate that Gandhi’s decision to contest from both constituencies in the last Lok Sabha election provided the BJP with an opportunity to shape the narrative that he was evading his family’s traditional stronghold in Amethi due to apprehension.
Despite her previous defeats, Irani consistently returned to Amethi, and had campaigned for benefits for the constituency through unified governance under the same party in control at both the central and state levels.
On the day of polling, a News18 report highlighted a significant sentiment among women voters: a desire for change and development. Irani strategically leveraged gender-related aspects to her advantage, effectively employing what is often termed the “woman card.” Meanwhile, Gandhi’s absence, notably even on the day of voting, further diminished his standing.
The BJP is prepared to confront Congress with a particular aspect: Gandhi’s limited visits to Amethi after his loss, to use it as a focal point of their campaign for Irani.
When asked about Irani, Rai said she appears frustrated. “Smriti Irani seems frustrated. She said she will get sugar at Rs 13 per kg, did she manage it? People from Amethi are here, ask them,” Rai said.
With inputs from News18