Lok Sabha election 2019: After 3 km road show, Rahul Gandhi files nomination for Amethi seat
Rahul Gandhi was accompanied by his mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the Congress general secretary, to the local collectorate as he submitted his papers.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday filed his nomination papers for the Lok Sabha elections from his traditional stronghold of Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi. The Congress boss was accompanied by his mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the Congress general secretary, and brother-in-law Robert Vadra to the local collectorate.
Before that, Rahul Gandhi led a 3-km roadshow from Gauriganj. He rode on the rooftop of a truck along with Priyanka and Robert Vadra. Their son Raihan and daughter Miraya were also present.
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A massive crowd of supporters walked on both sides of the road and showered flower petals on the Congress leaders. Many shouted slogans as Congress workers danced to drum beats.
Watch - Lok Sabha polls: Rahul Gandhi holds road show in Amethi, files nomination
Apart from Amethi, the Congress president will also contest from the second seat in Kerala’s Wayanad in the Lok Sabha election, which will begin on Thursday, a decision which has invited criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Communist Party of India(Marxist) or CPI(M).
The ruling party at the Centre said Gandhi had “escaped” to Kerala because he is unsure of a win in Amethi and the CPI(M) accused the Congress of trying to weaken Left forces. The grand old party has denied their allegations.
Gandhi had filed his papers to run for Parliament from Wayanad in Kerala on April 4.
The 48-year-old Congress leader will face Union minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani, who lost to Gandhi in the rural constituency in 2014.
The BJP has accused the Congress leader of neglecting Amethi and said that Smriti Irani has visited the constituency more than Rahul Gandhi. The Congress party has always countered the allegations.
Congress leader Deepak Singh said Irani has visited Amethi 15 times since 2014 elections, spent 44 hours there and scrapped 15 schemes meant for the constituency. He said, in contrast, Rahul Gandhi has spent 744 hours in his constituency.
“People should analyse the data independently,” he tweeted on March 26.
The BJP’s Uma Shankar Pandey said Singh’s claims were baseless and that Smriti Irani has visited Amethi more than 30 while Gandhi 15 odd times.
“The then defence minister Manohar Parrikar adopted two villages in Amethi and did more for them than the local MP [member of Parliament Gandhi] who failed to do justice to the villages of his own constituency. If I become an MP, I will use my MP fund for development of villages,” Irani said.
Congress has countered this saying Gandhi has spent ₹26.85 crore in Amethi.
The Union minister will file her nomination on Thursday. The BJP’s leaders have said Smriti Irani will reach Amethi on Wednesday to prepare for the election formalities.
While the Congress’ nine-day Rahul Sandesh Yatra, covering all the five assembly segments under the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency, ended on Monday, the BJP is attempting to woo voters in rural by holding smaller meetings.
Both the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have decided against fielding a candidate from Amethi and Rae Bareli in the Lok Sabha election this year, a decision which might benefit the Congress.
Polling will be held in Amethi on May 6 during the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha election 2019. The votes will be counted on May 23.