Rahul turns Amethi nomination into show of strength

Rahul Gandhi reached the Collectorate to file his papers after a roadshow through the town. PTI File photo

Days after filing nomination from Wayanad parliamentary constituency in Kerala, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday filed his nomination papers from Amethi Lok Sabha seat also.

The entire Gandhi family, including former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her daughter and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, her husband Robert Vadra and their children, were present on this occasion.

Facing a stiff challenge from union minister and BJP candidate from Amethi, Smriti Irani, Rahul turned his nomination into a massive show of strength.

The Congress president held a roadshow in Amethi before reaching the district magistrate's office at Gauriganj. The three-kilometre-long roadshow, that started from Jamo crossing, ended near the Collectorate. 

Thousands of Congress workers and senior party leaders accompanied the specially designed vehicle from which he greeted the people and waived at them.

Sonia, however, was not present in the roadshow and arrived straight at the Collectorate to be with her son during filing of his nomination papers.

People in large numbers lined up on both sides of the road and chanted pro-Congress slogans. Flowers were also showered on Rahul, who was accompanied by Priyanka, Robert Vadra and their children, by the people from the roofs and balconies of the houses along the way.

According to the sources, it was a deliberate show of strength by the Congress, which was aimed at countering the BJP's charge that Rahul had chosen Wayanad as he was not certain of his win in Amethi.

''The kind of support Rahul received in Amethi is sufficient to answer the BJP,'' said senior Congress leader Pramod Tewari.

Tewari exuded confidence that Rahul's victory margin would only increase this time. 

Rahul had defeated Smriti Irani in Amethi in 2014 by over one lakh votes. Smriti Irani has been active in the constituency since then. Senior BJP leaders, including prime minister Narendra Modi, had addressed public meetings in Amethi.

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Rahul turns Amethi nomination into show of strength

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