BJP eyes Amethi, Rae Bareli as Congress remains undecided


While it is clear that Congress MP Sonia Gandhi will not seek re-election from Rae Bareli, it is not yet known whether Priyanka Gandhi will take on union minister Smriti Irani in Amethi or contest the Rae Bareli seat.

Some Congressmen have been demanding that Priyanka should challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi but the Congress leadership is not too keen in the idea.

Smriti Irani had wrested the Amethi seat from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in 2019 and the party is now eyeing Rae Bareli.

Congress leader Pankaj Tiwari said, “The union ministers have been visiting Rae Bareli to test the waters but the people of Rae Bareli have faith in the Congress and Sonia Gandhi. The Congress will surely win the seat even if the party leaders decide not to campaign in the constituency.”

Party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi has remained active in Rae Bareli and Amethi for nearly two decades and has strengthened the party organisation there. But she has not visited the state since the past one year – after the Congress faced a humiliating defeat in the 2022 assembly polls.

Rahul Gandhi, meanwhile, is not too keen on returning to Amethi and wants to stay on with Wayanad. However, the party may field a strong candidate in Amethi.

A senior Congress functionary, meanwhile, said, “The party leadership should focus attention on these two seats and finalise candidates. These seats have been our bastions and we cannot afford to lose them. Indecision on this issue will cost us dear.”



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