Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 24 May 2024 7.37 PM IST

Amethi and Rae Bareli remain clueless; Candidates to be announced after Kerala polls?


NEW DELHI: After senior leader A.K. Antony's statement, speculations intensified that Rahul Gandhi would contest in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, the traditional constituency of the Gandhi family and Priyanka Gandhi in Rae Bareli. Candidates may be announced after April 26, when polling in Wayanad, where Rahul is contesting, is over. The last date for submission of papers is May 3 in both places where polling will be held in the fifth phase on May 20.

BJP candidate Smriti Irani is challenging Rahul, who lost to her in Amethi in 2019, to contest again. If he accepts now, it will be helpful for the Left parties in Wayanad. With sitting MP Sonia Gandhi accepting Rajya Sabha membership in Rae Bareli, it is rumored that Priyanka Gandhi will contest.

In 2019, Congress' first list had Sonia in Rae Bareli and Rahul in Amethi. Sonia won while Rahul lost to Smriti Irani. Rahul was saved as he contested in Wayanad too.

This time, Rahul was announced in the first list in Wayanad. After that, despite 12 lists, no one has been announced in Amethi and Rae Bareli. There is still time, Congress leaders say. They point out that if they don't contest, the BJP will mock that the Gandhi family ran away in fear. Candidates have been announced for constituencies like Maharajganj, Deoria, Bansgaon and Varanasi where the fifth phase of polling is going on.

Although she said that she will not contest in Rae Bareli, it is indicated that Priyanka, who is active in 'India' front rally and campaigning in Delhi, will change her mind. The party also believes that Rahul and Priyanka will get time to campaign elsewhere before announcing their candidature.

Rahul visited Amethi only four times in five years. Smriti Irani, who raised against Rahul in 2019, also faces allegations of not looking back in the constituency. Sonia's visits to Rae Bareli were also less due to health reasons.

Late candidates have also affected election activity in Amethi and Rae Bareli constituencies. BJP offices are active, while Congress offices are understaffed. Allies Samajwadi workers are also disappointed. Smriti Irani started campaigning by promoting Amethi Bypass, Tilo Medical College, Jagdishpur Trauma Center, Coca-Cola Bottling Plant, etc. She bought a house in Gauriganj, Amethi and became a voter.

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