'I can say with confidence that Rahul Baba is losing from Rae Bareli,' asserts Amit Shah

Campaigning in 14 UP Lok Sabha constituencies, including Amethi and Raebareli, ended on Saturday evening as the voting is slated to take place on Monday, May 20.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah with Union Minister and BJP candidate from Amethi constituency Smriti Irani and others during an election roadshow for the Lok Sabha polls, in Amethi district, Saturday, May 18, 2024.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah with Union Minister and BJP candidate from Amethi constituency Smriti Irani and others during an election roadshow for the Lok Sabha polls, in Amethi district, Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Photo | PTI)

LUCKNOW: In a last-minute push to BJP's poll campaign in the prestigious seats of Amethi and Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh, Union Home Minister Amit Shah asserted that he is confident that Rahul Gandhi is losing from Rae Bareli this time.

Asking the people of Amethi to opt between PM Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, he accused the latter of fleeing to Wayanad after losing Amethi in 2019.

“Now Rahul Baba is back in Raebareli. I have been in Raebareli for three days and can say with confidence that he is losing from there also,” he said.

Campaigning in 14 UP Lok Sabha constituencies, including Amethi and Raebareli, ended on Saturday evening as the voting is slated to take place on Monday, May 20.

Shah held a 2-km road show in Amethi on Saturday, where he chose to denounce the Congress' claim that Amethi and Rae Bareli, widely considered as the bastion of Gandhi family, were their "family seats".

“In a democracy it is the people, not a family, who send the candidate to the Parliament,” Shah said questioning if any of the Gandhi family members turned up in Amethi or Raebareli during the pandemic.

Shah, atop a four-wheeler turned into a Rath (chariot), was flanked by party candidate Smriti Irani, UP BJP chief Bhupendra Chaudhury, senior BJP leaders and the party MLAs, including Mayankeshwar Sharan Singh, of the assembly segments under Amethi Lok Sabha constituency.

Wading through a humongous crowd of BJP cadre and local people, the roadshow, which commenced from Ramleela Ground culminated at Devipattan temple passing through Rajarshri Rananjai Tiraha, Gandhi Chowk and Sagra Tiraha amid the chants of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Jai Shree Ram’.

Groups of saffron clad youth could be spotted at various locations along the roadshow route dancing, blowing conch shells and beating ‘damroos’ while the party supporters could be seen waving BJP flags and shouting the slogans.

By holding the massive roadshow in Amethi where Congress has fielded KL Sharma against BJP’s Smiriti Irani, Shah sought to firm up party’s prospects in Raebareli and other adjoining seats including Sultanpur.

Notably, Irani had emerged as giant killer in 2019 when she had defeated Rahul Gandhi by a margin of 55,000 votes. However, in Raebareli, BJP’s Dinesh Pratap Singh had lost to Sonia Gandhi by a margin of over 1.67 lakh votes. In fact, Congress had won just Raebareli seat losing other 66 seats which it had contested in Uttar Pradesh in 2019.

Earlier, the Union Home Minister addressed two poll rallies in Jhansi-Lalitpur and Banad-- in the Bundelkhand region of UP on Saturday. All the four seats of Bundelkhand including Jhansi, Banda, Hamirpur and Jalaun (SC) will vote in fifth phase on May 20.

While addressing a poll rally in Jhansi, land of Rani Lakshmi Bai, Amit Shah reached out to people asking them to fight the “desi Angrez” just like they fought against the British and Mughals during the freedom struggle.

He asked the people to choose between two categories of leaders. “On one hand there are leaders who have been behind, Rs 12 lakh crore scams, born with a silver spoon and go to Thailand for Vacation, on the other, there was PM Narendra Modi who has his tenures both as CM and PM unblemished. He was born in a poor family and never took a holiday,” Shah said.

He also targeted Samajwadi Party as the ones who ordered firing at the Ram Bhakts in Ayodhya in 1990. “On the other hand, we have Modi, who got the Ram Janmabhoomi case pursued, won it, and eventually got a temple constructed in Ayodhya,” Shah asserted.

Shah reiterated that the opposition leaders avoided going to the Ram Temple consecration ceremony for the sake of their vote bank. He claimed that Congress vote bank politics stood exposed as its leaders advised to keep away from the POK as “Pakistan had atom bomb." “We are not afraid of their vote bank. We would take back the PoK, which is an integral part of India,” he said.

Shah also claimed that after four phases, the BJP had crossed 270 mark. “Now it is sure that Modiji will become PM for the third consecutive time and make India the third largest economy in the world," he said.

The home minister said that there was a time when Bundelkhand was known for `Bahubalis’. “Give us the mandate, and we will ensure that Bundelkhand will give `udyogpatis’ (industrialists),” he said, adding that the area would soon be prominently known for nestling the ambitious defense corridor that would wheel out state-of-the-art weapons.

In Banda, he reached out to the women voters, saying that it was the BJP who empowered the women by giving them 33% reservation in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. He took a potshot at the opposition for not having a definite PM candidate. “If voted to power, they would make their leaders PM one-by-one every year,” he said. “There cannot be a PM stronger than Modi, who possesses a chest of 56 inches,” he said.

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