Friday, May 31, 2024

Rahul files nomination from Rae Bareli; BJP mocks him for ‘fleeing’ from Amethi


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Rae Bareli/New Delhi, May 3: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi filed his papers from Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli constituency on Friday, barely an hour before nominations closed for the Lok Sabha seat.
Earlier, in the morning, the Congress ended the suspense over Amethi and Rae Bareli, announcing his candidature from the seat held by his mother Sonia Gandhi for the last two decades. She recently moved to the Rajya Sabha.
Gandhi had lost from the adjoining Amethi constituency to BJP’s Smriti Irani in 2019, but won from Wayanad in Kerala – a seat he is contesting this time as well.
The former Congress president was accompanied by party leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as he handed over his papers to district election officer Harshita Mathur around 2 pm on the last day for filing nominations.
Gandhi’s brother-in-law Robert Vadra too was with him. Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot accompanied the family.
Also on Friday, Kishori Lal Sharma, a close aide of the Gandhi family, filed his papers from the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency.
Polling in both parliamentary constituencies is on May 20.
The party leaders arrived at the Fursatganj airport in Amethi, and then headed for Rae Bareli. A large number of Congress workers, and those from INDIA bloc partner Samajwadi Party, turned up at the district collectorate to cheer Gandhi. The SP workers, carrying flags and banners, included the party’s district chief Virendra Yadav.
After filing his nomination, Rahul Gandhi and other family members went to the district Congress office where family priest Radhe Shyam Dixit performed a puja.
Rae Bareli Congress spokesperson Vinay Dwivedi said people in the party and local residents were demanding that only the Gandhi family should contest from the constituency, and the top leadership has lived up to their trust.
The BJP mocked the Congress decision to field Gandhi from Rae Bareli rather than Amethi.
“Bhag Rahul bhag, Rahul bhag, Rahul bhag (run Rahul, run) — this is what will go on now,” BJP general secretary Dushyant Kumar Gautam told reporters in Delhi.
At a rally in West Bengal Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Congress “shehzada” (prince) who went to Wayanad after losing Amethi is contesting from Rae Bareli.
Union minister and Amethi MP Smriti Irani had earlleir filed her nomination papers from that constituency.
“The Gandhi family not being present in the election fray in Amethi indicates that the Congress has accepted its defeat in Amethi even before the polling on the seat,” she told reporters.
Earlier Friday, BJP candidate Dinesh Pratap Singh also filed his papers from Rae Bareli. He had lost to Sonia Gandhi in 2019.
Singh had switched sides from the Congress in 2018, after being sent to the state legislative council twice by that party.
Bahujan Samaj Party’s Thakur Prasad Yadav filed his nomination from Rae Bareli on Thursday.
Rahul Gandhi is now contesting from a seat that has been held by his mother Sonia Gandhi, his grandmother Indira Gandhi and his grandfather Feroze Gandhi in the past. (PTI)


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