Rahul to Contest from Amethi, Sonia from Rae Bareli, Suspense on Priyanka
| Onkareshwar Pandey, Editor in Chief, IOP - 07 Mar 2019

Rahul to Contest from Amethi, Sonia from Rae Bareli, Suspense on Priyanka

 

Indian Observer Post

New Delhi, March 7, 2019: The suspense is over. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will contest Lok Sabha elections from her traditional Rae Bareli seat. Similarly, Congress president Rahul Gandhi will defend his parliamentary segment of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. This will be Sonia Gandhi’s sixth Lok Sabha election starting 1999 when she entered the Lower House from Amethi.

In 2004 polls, she vacated the seat for her son Rahul and moved on to Rae Bareli which she won in 2004, 2009 and 2014. In 2006 she resigned over the office or profit controversy and was re-elected again.

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The names of Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, 72, feature in the first list of 15 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections released by the party on Thursday. There is no mention of Priyanka Gandhi’s name yet.

The party’s list, which was cleared by the central election committee of the Congress and released by AICC General secretary Mukul Wasnik, includes 11 seats from Uttar Pradesh and four from Gujarat.

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According to the list, names of former Union Minister Salman Khurshid from Farrukhabad, Nirmal Khatri from Faizabad, AICC spokesperson R P N Singh from Kushi Nafar and Jitin Prasad from Dharahrahas been finalised.

The names of the above leaders were part of the first list of candidates Congress released on Thursday night after the maiden meeting of the party’s central election committee chaired by Rahul Gandhi.

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The meeting lasted for two hours and concluded with the release of the first list of 15 Congress candidates for the 17th Lok Sabha elections — 11 candidates in UP and four in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Congress named its UP candidates at a time when the other opposition parties are urging it to go with SP and BSP who have struck their own alliance.

BSP-SP, however, left only Rae Bareli and Amethi for Congress with the Congress declaring 11 candidates in all in UP indicating that it won’t be cornered in India’s biggest state.

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The release of the first list of candidates is being seen as Congress attempt to pressurise the BSP and SP to cede more space to the grand old party to be ready for it to go alone.

Imran Masood, Congress’ west UP leader, who had controversially threatened PM Modi of violence after the Muzaffarpur riots of 2013, has been fielded from Saharanpur.

Former Unnao MP Annu Tandon has been fielded again from Unnao. 

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Congress candidate from Faizabad will be former state UP Congress chief Nirmal Khatri. Rajarampal will fight from Akbarpur and Brij Lal Khabri from Jalaun SC segment.

Saleem Iqbal Shervani will fight on the Congress ticket from Badaun.

According to sources, the Congress leadership was negotiating with the BSP and SP at least 22 seats its leaders had won in UP in 2009 and is still concentrating on these.

It remains to be seen if a grand alliance of SP, BSP and Congress still be achieved although many think it’s difficult now.

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Opposition parties, including TMC, TDP and now NCP, are however asking the Congress, BSP and SP to agree to give and take.

Cong declares four Gujarat candidates

Party candidates are former state president Bharatsinh Solanki from Anand, Prashant Patel from Vadodara, Raju Parmar from Ahmadabad West (SC) seat and Ranjit Mohansinh Rathwa from Chhota Udaipur (ST) seat.


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