AICC president Rahul Gandhi will now contest from Amethi and Wayanad, confirmed the party. With the margin of victory against Smriti Irani in 2014 far less substantial than before, it looks like Amethi will be too close to call this time around
Wayanad: The All Indian Congress Committee president Rahul Gandhi has announced his candidature from Wayanad for the upcoming Lok Sabha election. He will also contest from his home turf, Amethi.
"Rahul ji has given his consent to contest from two seats, very happy to inform you that he will also contest from Wayanad in Kerala," said veteran Congress leader AK Antony.
AK Antony,Congress: Rahul ji has given his consent to contest from two seats, very happy to inform you that he will also contest from Wayanad in Kerala. #LokSabhaElections2019 pic.twitter.com/Rt7IDNxr0D— ANI (@ANI) March 31, 2019
Wayanad is a surprising choice as it was speculated that Rahul Gandhi will contest from Karnataka, just like his grandmother Indira Gandhi and mother Sonia Gandhi had contested, when their popularity waned considerably.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, MI Srinivas of Congress had won the polls in Wayanad against Sathyan Mokeri from CPI. Wayanad consists of Mananthavady, Kalpetta, Sultan Bathery, Thiruvambady, Nilambur, Wandoor and Eranad Assembly constituencies and is a Congress stronghold.
The question of this move certainly questions Rahul Gandhi’s confidence of a win in Amethi.
Rahul Gandhi has been elected from Amethi for three consecutive terms in 2004, 2009 and 2014. in 2014, he won against BJP's Smriti Irani but the fact that Irani had secured 34.38% votes remains a matter of worry as Irani will contest from Amethi too.
Considering the winning graph, Amethi has been a safe bet for the Gandhi family, as it has been a Congress stronghold since 1980. After a defeat post emergency in 1977, Congress leader Sanjay Gandhi won the election in 1980. Rajiv Gandhi won election in 1981 and 1991. This was followed by Sonia Gandhi who contested and won in 1999.
Though Rahul Gandhi has won three elections, the party's vote share has diminished from 71.78% in 2009 to 46.71% in 2014.
The Amethi Lok Sabha constituency consists of Tilon, Salon, Jagdishpur and Amethi and Gauriganj Assembly constituencies. Out of these, BJP is in power in Tilon, Salon, Jagdishpur constituencies and a Samajwadi Party MLA won the Assembly election Gauriganj. Even with support from the SP MLA, it is doubtful if Rahul Gandhi can muster the support from the three BJP stronghold Assembly constituencies.
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Last Updated Mar 31, 2019, 12:25 PM IST