Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Fielding Rahul from Raebareli a responsibility not just a legacy, says Congress

Jairam Ramesh also justified Priyanka Gandhi Vadra not contesting any election, saying she can reach Parliament by contesting any bypoll, but is currently taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to counter him on his alleged 'lies' during campaigning.
hemin Joy
Last Updated : 03 May 2024, 09:18 IST
Last Updated : 03 May 2024, 09:18 IST

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New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi is an “experienced player of politics and chess” and there are “a few chess moves still left to play” before the Lok Sabha election winds up, Congress said on Friday as the BJP pounded on the party over choosing his candidature from Raebareli instead of Amethi.

It also defended Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s decision to stay away from the electoral battle saying she is “single-handedly silencing” Narendra Modi’s lies” and the way she responded to the “canards" that the prime minister was spreading on the abolition of Estate Duty was a “stinging rebuke”.

“That is why it was important that she should not be limited to just one constituency. She is campaigning across the country,” Congress General Secretary (Communications) Jairam Ramesh said, adding “this is a long election. There are a few chess moves still left to play. Let’s wait for a bit."

Amid criticism on Rahul not fighting the Amethi seat that he lost five years ago, he said the Congress leadership has taken its decisions “after much discussion, and as part of a larger strategy” and this “single decision” to field Rahul from Amethi has “befuddled the BJP, its supporters and its sycophants”.

“Remember, he is an experienced player of politics and chess...The BJP’s self-proclaimed Chanakya, who used to talk about 'paramparagat (traditional) seat' is now not sure how to respond,” Ramesh said.

Defending the choice, he said Raebareli has not just been the seat of Sonia Gandhi but also of Indira Gandhi and it was "not an inheritance, it is a responsibility and duty".

Ramesh said for the Gandhi family, it is not just Amethi-Raebareli but the entire country from north to south is their “stronghold”.

Rahul Gandhi has been MP thrice from Uttar Pradesh and once from Kerala but Why has the prime minister been unable to muster the courage to contest an election from a single seat below the Vindhyas? he asked.

With Modi and other BJP leaders claiming that a scared Rahul has run away from Amethi fearing a repeat of 2019 elections when Smriti Irani defeated him, Ramesh said, her "only identity" is that she contests election from Amethi against Rahul and "now her political relevance is over". Instead of making meaningless statements, he said Smriti will now have to answer about local development -- closed hospitals, steel plants and IIITs.

On K L Sharma's candidature against Smriti, he said the Congress family is built on the expectations and aspirations of lakhs of workers. "Yesterday, an eminent journalist was sarcastically asking a ground worker of the Congress Party in Amethi, 'when will it be your turn to get tickets?' Here it is! A common Congress worker will break the arrogance of the BJP in Amethi,"

Published 03 May 2024, 09:18 IST

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