Why does Rahul Gandhi go to Rae Bareli?

Amethi is no longer a family seat and it has become easier for Rahul to explain that he will leave Wayanad if he wins from Rae Bareli. In Priyanka’s case, the family did not want the BJP to have an opportunity to attack if the three Gandhis found themselves in Parliament.

Rahul Gandhi Amethi-RaebareliIf both Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi do not contest the elections, it will happen that after 25 years no Gandhi will be in the fray from Amethi.

Ending weeks of suspense and uncertainty, the Congress on Friday announced its candidates for Amethi and Rae Bareli, the Gandhi family’s traditional seats in Uttar Pradesh, but with one change. Senior leader Rahul Gandhi has moved to Rae Bareli, perhaps a safer seat than Amethi, from where he lost to Union minister Smriti Irani in 2019, while his sister and AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is not contesting. .

The announcement came on the last day of filing nominations for the two seats, which will go to polls on May 20.

The party has fielded Kishorilal Sharma in Amethi, who has been an influential representative of the Nehru-Gandhi family in Amethi and Rae Bareli for more than two decades.

This will happen after 25 years when no Gandhi will contest from Amethi. In 1999, a year after becoming Congress President, Sonia Gandhi made her electoral debut from here. In 2004, she shifted to Rae Bareli, paving the way for Rahul to make an electoral debut from this seat.

According to party leaders, the main reason behind Rahul’s shift to Rae Bareli is that Amethi is no longer a family seat after the 2019 defeat. Also, if Rahul wins from both Wayanad (the other seat from where he is contesting, which went to polls on April 26) and Rae Bareli, the Kerala elections could be held citing the family’s long-standing association with Rae Bareli. It would be easy to leave the area.

Undoubtedly, there is an unspoken fear of losing again in Amethi. However, Rahul’s decision not to contest from this seat is sure to be accused of “running away” from Irani.

Initially it was said that Rahul and Priyanka were reluctant to enter the field. Rahul argued that if he gets votes from the Kerala seat for the second time, he cannot leave Wayanad if he wins Rae Bareli.

There were also fears that this could impact Congress’s prospects in the 2026 assembly elections in Kerala.

After this Priyanka was asked to contest the elections, but she refused. Sources said that in deference to the widespread opinion in the party that the Gandhi family not contesting from the Hindi heartland would send a bad political message, Rahul finally conceded defeat.

The announcement of the Congress ticket came hours after the BJP announced Uttar Pradesh minister Dinesh Pratap Singh as its candidate from Rae Bareli. Irani has already filed her nomination from Amethi.

In 2019 also, Singh had contested elections from Rae Bareli. Although he lost to Sonia, he managed to halve his majority compared to 2014.

One reason is that Congress did not want both Priyanka and Rahul to contest the elections, because Sonia is already a Rajya Sabha member, in case of both Rahul and Priyanka winning, having three members in Parliament would give the BJP an opportunity to sharpen its dynasty rule. will get. ,

Rahul’s entry into the Wayanad fray in 2019 had helped the Congress win the Lok Sabha elections in Kerala. Although, in the Assembly, the party faced defeat, the CPI(M)-led LDF created history by securing a second consecutive term, reversing Kerala’s political trend of changing governments every five years. Therefore the 2026 assembly elections are important for Congress.

Since Independence, the Congress has lost Amethi and Rae Bareli – also represented by other family members like Indira, Rajiv, Sanjay – only three times. In the elections held after the Emergency in 1977, Indira Gandhi lost Rae Bareli to Raj Narayan. Congress again lost this seat in the general elections of 1996 and 1998 when no Gandhi was in the fray. However, it has not been defeated there since.

Similarly, Congress lost in Amethi in 1977, 1998 (elections when no Gandhi was contesting) and 2019.

In 2019, Rahul, a two-time MP from Amethi, lost by over 55,000 votes. While Sonia, MP from Rae Bareli since 2004, retained it – the only seat won by the Congress from UP in 2019 – her margin declined to 1.69 lakh votes from 3.52 lakh in 2014.

Feroze Gandhi represented Rae Bareli in 1952 and 1957. Although Indira entered Parliament as a Rajya Sabha member in 1964, her Lok Sabha debut was from Rae Bareli in 1967. He won the seat again in 1971, before losing it in 1977. In 1980, Indira contested both Rae Bareli and Medak in undivided Andhra Pradesh, won both, and decided to retain the Medak seat.