Rahul Gandhi retains Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat; Priyanka to make poll debut from Wayanad

Rahul had won from both Wayanad and Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituencies and had to vacate one of the seats within 14 days of the election results, which came out on June 4.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh.FILE Photo | PTI

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge announced on Monday that party leader Rahul Gandhi will vacate the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat and retain his seat from Rae Bareli.

Kharge also announced that Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will contest from the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat vacated by her brother, thereby marking her electoral debut.

Rahul Gandhi had won both from Wayanad and Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituencies and had to vacate one of the seats within 14 days of the Lok Sabha results, which came out on June 4.

Following the announcement, Rahul Gandhi said his doors were always open for the people of Wayanad and that the constituency would effectively have two MPs through him and his sister.

"Priyanka Gandhi is going to fight the elections and I am confident that she is going to win the elections. The people of Wayanad can think that they have two members of Parliament; one is my sister and the other is me. My doors are always open for the people of Wayanad, I love every single person in Wayanad," Rahul said.

Meanwhile, Priyanka Gandhi responded to the announcement by saying she would ensure Wayanad does not feel Rahul's absence and added that her longstanding relationship with Amethi and Rae Bareli remains unbreakable.

"I am very happy to be able to represent Wayanad and I will not let them feel his (Rahul Gandhi's) absence. I will work hard and I will try my best to make everyone happy and be a good representative. I have a very old relationship with Raebareli and Amethi and it cannot be broken. I will also help my brother in Raebareli. We will both be present in Raebareli and Wayanad," she said

The decision comes after the party's top brass held a meeting at Kharge's residence earlier this evening to decide which seat Rahul would vacate. The meeting also discussed whether Gandhi would take up the post of Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former party president Rahul Gandhi and party general secretaries KC Venugopal and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were present during the discussions.

Sources said the leaders are learnt to have held crucial discussions on which seat Rahul Gandhi should vacate or keep and whether he should take up the position of Leader of Opposition.

The Congress Working Committee, the highest decision-making body of the party, has also urged Rahul Gandhi to take up the position of Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and a resolution to this effect was passed by the CWC in its last meeting held on June 8.

Venugopal had said that the CWC urged Rahul Gandhi to take up the position as "he is the best person" for the post.

There are indications that Priyanka Gandhi may contest from the seat vacated by Rahul Gandhi in the bypoll.

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh.
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Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh.
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