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Priyanka Gandhi to make poll debut with contest from Wayanad, Rahul keeps Raebareli
Photo courtesy: Priyanka Gandhi Facebook

Priyanka Gandhi to make poll debut with contest from Wayanad, Rahul keeps Raebareli

| @indiablooms | 17 Jun 2024, 10:04 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is finally making her poll debut with Rahul Gandhi, who also won UP's Raebareli, deciding to vacate the Wayanad constituency in Kerala, party chief Mallikarjun Kharge announced Monday.

Kharge made the announcement, flanked by the Gandhi siblings, a day before the last day for doing so is Tuesday.

"The party has decided that Rahul Gandhi should keep the Raebareli seat because it has been close to him and his family for generations. The people of the constituency and people in the Congress feel this will be good for the party as well.

"More importantly, he has received love from the people of Wayanad and people there want him to retain the seat. But the rules don't allow this. So we have decided that Priyanka ji will contest from Wayanad," he said in Hindi.

Speaking to the reporters Rahul Gandhi said he has an emotional connection with both Raebareli and Wayanad and expressed his gratitude for the love has got from the people in the Kerala constituency while he was a Member of Parliament from there the past five years.

"Priyanka will contest from Wayanad, but I will also go there frequently and we will fulfil all the promises we made to the people there. I have an old connection with Raebareli and I am happy to represent them, but it wasn't an easy decision. It was a tough one. The people of Wayanad stood with me and supported me. They gave me energy to fight in a very difficult time. I will be available for the people of Wayanad," Rahul said.

"I am confident she (Priyanka) will win the election and she will be a very good representative. The people of Wayanad can think about it like this: They now have two MPs, one is my sister and the other is me. My doors are always open to you for the rest of my life and I love every person in Wayanad," he added.

Priyanka, meanwhile, said she was very happy and would not let the people of Wayanad feel her brother's absence.

"As he said, he will come many times with me. But I will work as hard and try to be a good representative. I have a very old connection with Raebareli and I have worked there for 20 years. That connection cannot break. I will help bhaiyya (big brother) in Raebareli and we will be available in both constituencies," she said.

Asked if she was nervous, Priyanka said, "Not at all."

Rahul Gandhi had won in Wayanad in 2019 despite suffering a shock defeat to Smriti Irani in his bastion of Amethi. In the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, he won again in Wayanad by a margin of 3.64 lakh votes.

Rahul also won Raebareli with a margin of 3.9 lakh votes where his mother Sonia Gandhi made an emotional appeal to voters stating that she was handing her son to them.

The Raebareli seat was held by Sonia Gandhi from 2004 until she moved to the Rajya Sabha earlier this year.

This seat was also represented by Rahul Gandhi's grandmother and former PM Indira Gandhi, and her husband Feroze Gandhi.

While Rahul Gandhi was not keen on giving up Wayanad, what also worked in favour of Raebareli was the fact that it is in Uttar Pradesh, home to the largest number of Lok Sabha seats in the country, media said.

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