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Two-member Congress team in Amethi to find reasons for Rahul Gandhi’s defeat

The two members are likely to meet Congress leaders of five assembly segments in Amethi in the next two to three days and expected to submit their report to the party leadership soon.

india Updated: May 31, 2019 12:24 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
rahul gandhi,rahul gandhi loses Amethi seat,amethi lok sabha seat
Congress president Rahul Gandhi (C) lost the Amethi seat to BJP’s Smriti Irani in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. (AFP)

Amid demands for Rahul Gandhi to continue as Congress president, the party has tasked a two-member team, comprising Congress secretary Zubair Khan and KL Sharma, to find reasons for the defeat of Rahul in Amethi in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Sharma, who is the representative of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli, has closely worked in Amethi as well.

Khan and Sharma, who reached Amethi on Thursday, met District Congress Committee (DCC) office bearers. They are likely to meet party leaders of five assembly segments in the next two to three days and expected to submit their report to the party leadership soon.

“Yes, the two-member committee has reached Amethi and begun interacting with party leaders of Amethi. The committee will continue to hold interaction by the weekend and submit its report soon,” said a senior Congress leader of Amethi.

DCC Amethi president Yogendra Mishra has offered to resign from his post owning moral responsibility for the Congress president’s defeat in Amethi, till now considered to be a bastion of the Nehru-Gandhi family.

Both Khan and Sharma were not available for comments. Other party leaders, however, said besides pointing out the alleged misuse of official machinery and money power, the committee has also been informed about the lapses and weaknesses at the organisation level that failed to counter the BJP’s campaign against Rahul in the constituency.

Irani, who had lost the seat to Rahul in 2014, continued to visit the constituency and focused on strengthening the party organisation. Posters calling Rahul Gandhi “Missing MP” came up more than once in Amethi.

A section of farmers whose land was acquired for Samrat Cycles and other projects often held demonstrations and tried to show black flags to Rahul Gandhi. A black flag to a member of Nehru-Gandhi family was considered unthinkable till a few years ago in Amethi.

Local party leaders are also learnt to have told the committee members that the Congress did not get support of local units of SP-BSP alliance in Amethi.

“Although the SP-BSP alliance did not field its own candidate and supported Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, the alliance’s votes were transferred to Irani instead of the Congress president and this led to his defeat by a margin of about 50,000 votes,” said another party leader.

First Published: May 31, 2019 12:22 IST