2024 Lok Sabha elections: Why Priyanka Gandhi opted out of poll race - Hindustan Times
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2024 Lok Sabha elections: Why Priyanka Gandhi opted out of poll race

By, Rae Bareli/amethi
May 04, 2024 04:52 AM IST

Both Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are on the party’s list of star campaigners and have been extensively campaigning across the country.

If Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi decided not to enter the poll race in the 2024 Lok Sabha election, she apparently had valid reasons for doing so.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi and her brother Rahul Gandhi. (PTI PHOTO)
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi and her brother Rahul Gandhi. (PTI PHOTO)

After Rahul Gandhi contested the Lok Sabha election for the first time from Amethi in 2004, there had been speculation about Priyanka’s likely entry into the electoral contest arena. Priyanka Gandhi, however, has refrained from contesting polls.

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Both Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are on the party’s list of star campaigners and have been extensively campaigning across the country.

Those aware of the developments said if both Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi decided to contest the polls, they may not have been able to spare time for campaigning in different parts of the country.

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By keeping herself away from the electoral contest, Priyanka Gandhi has not only allowed her brother Rahul Gandhi additional time for campaigning for the party, she has also taken responsibility for campaigning in Rae Bareli and Amethi Lok Sabha seats that were the party’s bastions till 2019.

Sonia Gandhi won the Rae Bareli seat in 2019 but the party’s Amethi fortress fell as Rahul Gandhi lost to Union minister Smriti Irani.

As the Congress has fielded Gandhi-family loyalist KL Sharma from Amethi, Priyanka Gandhi has decided to camp in the constituency from May 6 onwards till the end of campaigning. She will also find time to campaign for Rahul Gandhi.

Senior Congress leaders have also defended the party’s move of keeping Priyanka Gandhi out of the electoral contest arena.

“Yes, Priyanka Gandhi has offered to keep herself free for campaigning for the party across the country. Moreover, Sonia Gandhi is a Rajya Sabha MP while Rahul Gandhi, besides being Wayanad MP, is set to win the Rae Bareli seat, too. The BJP has been speaking about members of a family contesting the polls and her decision is a reply to the same,” said senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Pramod Tiwari.

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Some other leaders said Priyanka Gandhi will have the option to enter Parliament after the 2024 polls again.

“As Rahul Gandhi is set to win both from Wayanad and Rae Bareli, she will have the option to enter parliament through a by-election,” said a senior party leader on condition of anonymity.

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