Rahul vs Vishwas gets mixed reaction

AAP's entry to make contest interesting, say locals

 Aam Aadmi Party’s hinting at fielding its senior leader Kumar Vishwas against the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in latter’s Lok Sabha constituency Amethi has received mixed reactions in the Nehru-Gandhi pocket borough with common people and politicians expressing different views.

While a few among the common people found it a ‘good idea’, many others and the politicians feel that AAP would not be a ‘factor’ in the upcoming general elections as far as Uttar Pradesh was concerned.

“AAP’s entry into the fray will make the fight interesting. We will then have a triangular fight among BJP, Congress and AAP,” says Rajesh Pandey, a teacher by profession and a resident of Amethi Assembly constituency.

“The VIP tag on Amethi has not benefited it any way. It also suffers from the same problems that confronts any other constituency,” he went on to assert while speaking to Deccan Herald over telephone.

There are speculations that Congress MP from the neighbouring Sultanpur seat Sanjay Singh could contest against Rahul on BJP ticket this time.

Singh has dropped hints that he will leave Congress shortly to join the Bharatiya Janata Party. There are also rumours that Singh had been assured a Rajya Sabha nomination in case he loses the Lok Sabha  polls.

Mohammad Rafiq Warsi, an old Nehru-Gandhi family loyalist, however, rubbishes the assertion saying the people of Amethi would under no circumstances allow the defeat of Rahul Gandhi, who has ‘nurtured’ the constituency ‘so well’.

‘Success got to head’

“Success appears to have got into the head of the AAP leaders. In a democracy there is no bar on anyone contesting from anywhere but for Vishwas it will be nothing less than a political suicide,” said Warsi, a resident of Jagadishpur Assembly segment under Amethi Lok Sabha seat.

Local scribe Krishna Kumar also felt that Vishwas would not be able to affect the poll outcome at Amethi. “Congress will be more concerned with factors like price rise rather than Vishwas,” he said.

Tough opponent

While many did not think that Vishwas could prove to be a formidable opponent, they would like to see how AAP performes at the hustings in a state that sends largest number of MPs to the Lok Sabha.

“People in Amethi will like to see AAP’s performance in this VIP constituency,” he said.
Rahul had romped home from Amethi by over 3,65,000 votes in 2009 general elections.
He had secured over 4.64 lakh votes while his nearest rival Ashish Shukla from BSP could get a little less than one lakh votes.

The Samajwadi Party had not put up any candidate against Rahul in 2009.

Though the Congress had bagged 21 seats in UP in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, it could secure only 29 seats in the last year’s Assembly polls. Of the five Assembly segments in Amethi, the Congress could win only two.

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