Sonia, Rahul not to campaign for UP bypolls

Congress, however, has lined up 35 star campaigners for the task

After facing the worst political debacle in the Lok Sabha elections, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul have decided not to campaign for the by-elections in Uttar Pradesh scheduled to be held on September 13.

The party, however, has named 35 star campaigners for the bypolls which includes senior party leaders like Moti Lal Vora, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Digvijay Singh.

While some senior party leaders downplayed the decision taken by Gandhi and her son by maintaining that the Congress president, by convention, never campaigned in bypolls, sources in the party felt it would save the leadership from facing further embarrassment as the Congress’ prospects in the upcoming bypolls did not appear to be bright.

The Gandhis’ decision to skip the UP bypoll campaign comes at a time when the stakes for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are high in the state as 10 out of 11 Assembly seats, going to bypolls, are being vacated by its leaders who were elected to the Lok Sabha.

Apart from these 11 Assembly constituencies, by polls will be held at Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat vacated by Samajwadi party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

The Assembly seats going to polls in UP are Noida, Lucknow East, Saharanpur Nagar, Bijnore, Thakurdwara, Nighasan, Hamirpur, Charkhan, Sirathu, Balha, Rohaniya and Sirathu in Uttar Pradesh.

The process of filing nominations has already started and the last date is August 27.

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