Kishori Lal Sharma, Congress candidate from Amethi.
Kishori Lal Sharma, Congress candidate from Amethi.(Photo | ANI)

‘My aim is to serve people with compassion, empathy’

For a few years, he worked both in Amethi and Raebareli as in-charge of both the constituencies from where Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi used to be in fray.

AMETHI : The announcement of the name of Kishori Lal Sharma as Congress candidate from Amethi against Union Minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani took many by surprise both in Congress camp and BJP as they had been expecting Rahul Gandhi to be in fray from his bastion which he had lost to Smriti Irani in 2019.

“I am confident of my victory as the top party leaders will come here for me. I am the same Kishori Lal who had come to Amethi with Rajiv Gandhi in 1983. I have learnt from Gandhi family that my sole aim and the only religion is to serve people with empathy and compassion,” says the Congress candidate adding that he takes pride in getting selected by the Gandhis.

For Amethi, Sharma is not an unknown face. Those aware of Amethi politics know KL Sharma as manager and representative of Gandhis since 1983 when the then Amethi MP Rajiv Gandhi had brought him along as a soldier of Youth brigade. Many in Amethi remember him from his days when he used to pedal a cycle around Amethi. They saw him as a common man and a Gandhi loyalist who has been entrusted with comparatively a tough task of taking on a mighty BJP candidate and sitting MP Smriti Irani.

On the challenge from his rival, he sounds confident of the support of people, who he claims, have accepted the decision of Congress high command that a person among them has got a ticket in Amethi. “I consider myself as the Sewak of Gandhis.”

Sharma is going around with the image of being the ‘sevak’ of Gandhis and that he is abiding by their command by contesting from their traditional seat. The local Congress leaders take it as party’s strategic move to not let the Amethi election turn into a Smriti Vs Rahul contest at the national level.

They want to keep it issue based poll and that Smriti Irani is no match for the stature of Rahul Gandhi despite his 2019 loss. KL Sharma is enough to defeat Smriti Irani, feel the Congress supporters.

Popular among the locals as a low profile, humble person with a good behaviour, Sharma hails from Ludhiana, Punjab and his association with the Congress deepened after Rajiv Gandhi’s death in 1991. He began working with Captain Satish Sharma in Amethi and then also worked very closely with Sonia Gandhi in Amethi as in-charge of the constituency, when she contested from the seat in 1999.

For a few years, he worked both in Amethi and Raebareli as in-charge of both the constituencies from where Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi used to be in fray. Later, he moved to Raebareli with Sonia Gandhi as Rahul had his own team.

Now with family, including his wife and one of the two daughters, camping with him in Amethi and conducting his campaign, KL Sharma sounds to be confident of top Congress leaders including Gandhis will leave no stones unturned for his campaign as they believe that he can defeat Smriti Irani this time and reclaim the Gandhi family bastion.

He refuses to respond to the diatribe of BJP candidate Smriti Irani who, along with BJP top leadership, is claiming that by not contesting from Amethi, Rahul Gandhi has already conceded his defeat. “What she says I don’t want to responds to her. Let People decided. It will amount to arrogance if we comment on the result of the election beforehand. Let’s wait for June 4,” he said.

Image of ‘sevak’

Sharma is going around with the image of being the ‘sevak’ of Gandhis and that he is abiding by their command by contesting from their traditional seat. The local Congress leaders take it as party’s strategic move to not let the Amethi election turn into a Smriti Vs Rahul contest at the national level.

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