Rahul Gandhi files nomination from Rae Bareli

Rae Bareli (UP), May 3 (UNI) Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi filed his nomination on Friday for Rae Bareli parliamentary constituency on the last day of the nomination process for May 20 elections in the fifth phase.

The Congress leader filed his nomination in the presence of his mother and former MP from Rae Bareli Sonia Gandhi, party’s national general secretary and sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and party president Mallikarjun Kharge.

Following election on the Wayanad seat in Kerala on April 26, speculations were rife for Rahul contesting from Amethi, but popping a surprise his candidature from Rae Bareli was announced at the last moment.

So far UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has been representing this seat in the Lok Sabha since 1999, however, she had refused to contest citing health reasons as well as after being nominated to the Rajya Sabha.

In Rae Bareli, Rahul will face Minister in the Yogi Adityanath government and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Dinesh Pratap Singh, who also filed his nomination on Friday.

In 2019 the Rahul Gandhi lost the Lok Sabha elections to BJP’s Smriti Irani from Amethi, although he reached the Lok Sabha by winning the election from Wayanad seat in Kerala.

Sonia Gandhi, after being elected to the Rajya Sabha, had written an emotional letter to the people of Rae Bareli citing her health issues that in her place, someone from her family would contest the elections from the seat.

Since then speculations were being made that either Rahul or his sister Priyanka Gandhi will enter the electoral battle from the family pocket borough.

In the last Lok Sabha polls, Sonia had secured 56.41 per cent of the votes in this seat with 5,34,918 votes while her nearest rival Dinesh Pratap Singh of BJP had secured 38.78 per cent of the votes and had secured 3,67,740 votes.

In the 2014 elections, the UPA chairperson defeated BJP’s Ajay Aggarwal and got 5,26,434 votes while BJP’s nominee got 1,73,721 votes. The first elections on this seat were held in 1952 and since then Congress has won 16 times in 19 elections.

Raj Narayan of Janata Party defeated Indira Gandhi in this seat in 1977 and after that Ashok Singh of BJP won this seat in 1996.

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