Rae bareli or Wayanad?: UP leaders appeal to Rahul Gandhi to retain family bastion

On the other, Akhilesh Yadav, who is a sitting MLA from his stronghold Karhal assembly segment in Mainpuri, has won Kannauj Lok Sabha seat as well.
Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi
Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi Express

LUCKNOW: After putting up a promising show in Uttar Pradesh, both the INDIA bloc partners—Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav—have yet to clear the suspense over the seats they will retain.

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi, after securing impressive wins in both Raebareli in UP and Wayanad in Kerala, has yet to decide which seat he will forego.

On the other, Akhilesh Yadav, who is a sitting MLA from his stronghold Karhal assembly segment in Mainpuri, has won Kannauj Lok Sabha seat as well. The SP will, now, have to choose one relinquishing the other keeping in mind the sentiments of the voters of both the seats.

In the case of Rahul Gandhi, the suspense is growing with the local leaders of Raebareli making appeals to retain the family bastion which he won by a bigger margin of 3,90,030 votes than Wayanad where his victory margin was 3,64,422.

Sonia Gandhi represented Raebareli in Lok Sabha from 2004 till 2019. It was the only seat in Uttar Pradesh that Congress could retain in 2019 when Sonia Gandhi defeated BJP’s Dinesh Pratap Singh by a margin of 1.67 lakh votes.

While Congress MLA Ardhana Mishra Mona feels that it will be a tough decision for Rahul Gandhi to opt for one of the two seats where he got immense support of people, UPCC chief Ajai Rai says that the UP unit of the party will request Rahul Gandhi not to relinquish Rae bareli.

Some of the Congress leaders also feel that in case Rahul Gandhi chooses Wayanad over Raebareli, a Gandhi family member precisely Prianka Gandhi Vadra should replace him in the constituency.

Notably, the credit for ensuring such a massive victory of Rahul Gandhi in Raebareli and party candidate KL Sharma in Amethi is majorly attributed to Priyanka who stayed put in the state for 10-12 days and spearheaded the party campaign in the twin constituencies.

Similarly, in SP camp, the suspense looming over Akhilesh Yadav’s decision whether to be in state politics or represent Kannuaj in Lok Sabha, continues.

The SP chief has won from Kannauj Lok Sabha constituency defeating BJP's Subrat Pathak by a margin of 1.70 lakh votes.

However, in a recent interaction with this correspondent in a recent interview, the SP chief had expressed his inclination towards batting in Delhi. Moreover, after getting 37 seats in Lok Sabha from UP and having established itself as the third largest party in the country after the BJP and Congress, it will be the most opportune time for the SP chief to be his party’s voice in Lok Sabha.

“Adhyakshaji may opt for Kannauj if the situation demands,” says a senior SP leader claiming that the people of Karhal were already taken into confidence when Akhileshji was contesting from there in 2022 assembly poll, that if need be, he will relinquish the Assembly seat for the bigger cause.

However, Karhal, being a stronghold of SP first family, would not be difficult to win again in by-poll by a Samajwadi Party candidate but the BJP will not leave any stone unturned in putting up a tough fight to win the battle of perception on either of the two seats.

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