Rahul Gandhi’s Return to Amethi; A Political Homecoming or a Fierce Showdown with Smriti Irani?

Rahul Gandhi would run from Amethi in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, according to newly elected Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Rai, sparking speculation about the prominent district that has long been a favoured seat for the Gandhi-Nehru family. The Gandhi-Nehru family has only twice lost in this Congress stronghold, the first time being when Sanjay Gandhi lost to Ravindra Pratap Singh for the Janata Party immediately after the Emergency.

Congress’ Endeavor to Reclaim Amethi from Smriti Irani

Rahul Gandhi won the following two Lok Sabha elections from the Amethi constituency, where he made his parliamentary debut in 2004, until losing it to Smriti Irani of the BJP in 2019. The lone Congress member representing UP at the moment is Sonia Gandhi, an MP from Rae Bareli, and the grand old party would like to seize Amethi from Smriti Irani. Rahul Gandhi is now an MP for Kerala’s Wayanad. Rai announced, “Rahul Gandhi will definitely contest the Lok Sabha election from Amethi, the people of Amethi are here,” as he arrived from Delhi surrounded by party workers and leaders. Smriti Irani, a Union minister who defeated Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in the most recent election, looked upset, according to Rai. “Smriti Irani seems frustrated. She said she will get sugar at ₹13 per kg, did she manage it? People from Amethi are here, ask them,” Rai said.

Smriti Irani’s Impact on Amethi’s Political Landscape

HT’s sister publication Live Hindustan, claims that Smriti Irani’s strong involvement in Amethi has bolstered the BJP’s influence in the area. Assembly seats in Jagdishpur, Tiloi, and Salon are controlled by the BJP, while Gauriganj and Amethi are held by the Samajwadi Party. Supporters of Irani in the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency draw attention to the state and federal governments’ efforts to advance development. Since his defeat in the 2019 elections, Rahul Gandhi has made three trips to Amethi, and the chance that he could run for the seat again has fueled the aspirations of the local party officials. Gandhi has remained a prominent figure in Amethi, especially during the Covid-19 outbreak when he sent aid to the area. According to recent pronouncements from the state party president, his initiatives have found favour with local party members. If Rahul Gandhi decides to run from his old seat, the political fight in the Amethi area could become more heated during the Lok Sabha election the following year.

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