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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Suspense over Rahul, Priyanka from Amethi and Raebareli continues

With party leadership tight-lipped about whether the Gandhi siblings would contest, Congress General Secretary (Communications) Jairam Ramesh said a decision would be announced within 24 to 30 hours (by Thursday evening) though "no one is scared" to contest elections.
hemin Joy
Last Updated : 02 May 2024, 01:37 IST
Last Updated : 02 May 2024, 01:37 IST

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New Delhi: With just two days left for filing nominations for Amethi and Rae Bareli, Congress is keeping its cards close to its chest on fielding Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra from these traditional Gandhi family pocket boroughs even as hectic parleys were on to finetune its strategy.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge had intially cancelled his election rally in Karnataka's Shimoga on Thursday, indicating that he will hold further discussions on the candidates for both the two seats. However, now, he is slated to attend two public meetings - at Shimoga and Kalaburgi today. Rahul Gandhi, too, will be attending the programme in Shimoga.

Kharge is also learnt to have held discussions with Congress pointsmen in Amethi and Rae Bareli on Wednesday.

If one goes by the election programmes announced by the party, Priyanka will be attending programmes on both Thursday and Friday, the last date of nominations for both Amethi and Rae Bareli, while Rahul's itinerary for Friday has not been published so far.

With party leadership tight-lipped about whether the Gandhi siblings would contest, Congress General Secretary (Communications) Jairam Ramesh said a decision would be announced within 24 to 30 hours (by Thursday evening) though "no one is scared" to contest elections. Congress General Secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal said in Kerala that announcement will come on Thursday.

A section of Congress leaders believe that Rahul will be contesting from Amethi though there has been speculation that he will shift to Rae Bareli while a grandson of former MP Sheila Kaul may be fielded in Amethi. There has also been speculation that Priyanka has expressed her reservations about contesting elections.

Another theory doing the rounds is that Rahul is against Priyanka's entry into Parliament as it would mean three members of the family would be in Parliament

Congress central election committee (CEC) has empowered the Congress president to finalise the candidates for these two seats, Ramesh said adding, "my expectation is that in the next 24-30 hours, the Congress president will finalise and a decision taken by him will be announced. Till that is done all the information, all so-called office orders are fake."

Asked whether the Congress is "scared in fielding Rahul and Priyanka, he said, "Has the BJP not announced its candidates in Rae Bareli? Smriti Irani is a sitting MP. Nobody is scared, discussions are ongoing, the Congress president has been authorised. There is no delay, there is time till May 3."

In Amethi, Congress workers held a protest and demanded that the party announce the names of Rahul from Amethi and Priyanka from Rae Bareli.

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Published 02 May 2024, 01:37 IST

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