Cong plays down Amethi, Raebareli

Cong plays down Amethi, Raebareli
Senior Congress leaders have advised their interlocutors with the Samajwadi Party to not make the Assembly segments in Amethi and Raebareli a prestige issue. The SP has declared candidates on five Assembly segments of the 10 that are part of the marquee Parliamentary seats for the Congress — Amethi being represented by Rahul Gandhi and Raebareli by party president Sonia Gandhi.

It is learnt that Rahul’s sister Priyanka Vadra, who salvaged the Congress’ alliance with the SP, is now involved in getting the maximum number of Assembly seats for the party. Before the alliance with the Congress was announced, the SP had fielded state minister Gayatri Prajapati from the Amethi Assembly segment and Rakesh Pratap Singh from Gauriganj. In Raebareli, Asha Kishore, Devendra Pratap Singh and Manoj Kumar Pandey are the SP candidates from the Salon, Sareni and Unchahar Assembly segments. All are sitting MLAs. SP chief and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has already endorsed Prajapati’s candidature from Amethi at his maiden rally in Sultanpur last week.

‘Let matters be’
Congress seniors have counselled the party interlocutors to “let matters be” and not press for a change of candidates as it may only draw bad blood, which in turn would hurt the alliance. The Congress was keen on fielding Amita Singh, wife of its campaign committee chairman and Amethi royal Sanjay Singh, from the eponymous Assembly segment, where its alliance partner has fielded Prajapati. The BJP has queered the pitch for the Congress by nominating Sanjay’s former wife Garima from the Amethi Assembly constituency. Congress leaders feel that insistence on Prajapati’s withdrawal could lead to alienation of the Kumhar (potters) community, which is evenly spread across Uttar Pradesh.

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