Two more days to file nominations: Suspense prevails on Rahul, Priyanka contesting from Amethi, Raebareli

**EDS: IMAGE VIA AICC** Mumbai: Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during the party's 'Nyay Sankalp Padyatra', in Mumbai, Sunday, March 17, 2024. (PTI Photo)(PTI03_17_2024_000069A)

New Delhi: The suspense on whether top Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra would contest the Amethi and Raebareli Lok Sabha seats continued, with only two days left for the nomination process to end.
Amethi and Raebareli are considered traditional pocket boroughs of the Gandhi-Nehru family as its members have represented the seats for several decades.

Sources said Rahul Gandhi is likely to contest from Raebareli, but a final call is yet to be taken by the first family of the Congress. They added that Priyanka Gandhi is also keen to contest from the Raebareli seat, but Rahul is not favourable to the idea, considering the criticism of dynasty politics by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against the Congress leadership. Sources said he does not want all three members of the Gandhi family should contest the Lok Sabha elections.

A final call on whether they would contest the two seats would be taken in a day or two. Amid the mounting suspense, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said that "nobody is scared" and a decision on the matter would be announced in the next 24-30 hours.

He said that the party's central election committee (CEC) has empowered Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge to finalise the candidates for Amethi and Raebareli.
"I expect that in the next 24-30 hours, the Congress president will finalise and a decision taken by him will be announced," Ramesh said in response to a question at a press conference at the AICC headquarters here. "Till that is done all the information, all so-called office orders are fake," he said.

Asked why there is a delay in taking a decision and if the Congress was "scared" in fielding Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, Ramesh said, "There is no delay. Has the BJP not announced its candidates in Raebareli? Smriti Irani is a sitting MP. Nobody is scared, discussions are ongoing, and the Congress president has been authorized."
"There is no delay, there is time till May 3," he said. The state leadership in Uttar Pradesh has already urged the central election committee and the party leadership to field Rahul Gandhi from Amethi and Priyanka from Raebareli.

As speculation mounted, the Congress workers in Amethi on Tuesday also held a sit-in and demanded that the party name a member of the Gandhi family as its candidate from the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency.

The Amethi seat has been represented by Rahul Gandhi since 2004 and he remained a member of Parliament from the constituency for three consecutive terms till 2019 when he was defeated by BJP's Smriti Irani. Rahul Gandhi currently represents the Wayanad constituency in Kerala from where he had also contested in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Rahul Gandhi has said earlier that he will follow "whatever order" he gets from his party. The Amethi and Raebareli constituencies go to polls on May 20 in the fifth round of the seven-phase general elections.

The Raebareli constituency was represented by Sonia Gandhi from 2004 to 2024. Before that Sonia Gandhi had represented the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency after she entered politics and contested for the first time in 1999. The seat has previously been represented by Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. The Congress has allied with the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh and is contesting 17 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The Lok Sabha polls are being held in seven phases starting April 19. The counting of votes will be taken up on June 4.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.