Will Rahul Gandhi's Presence in Raebareli Today Help Him Shake Off 'Absconder' Tag? Congress Rectifies 2019 Mistake

1 month ago

Reported By: Pallavi Ghosh

Last Updated: May 20, 2024, 09:26 IST

Rae Bareli, India

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (File photo)

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (File photo)

Gandhi will be in the constituency to win back the ‘family home’ as the constituency votes in phase 5 of the 2024 polls

Rahul Gandhi will be in Raebareli when it goes to vote in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections on May 20. While this is not unusual as candidates usually visit their voters for the last push and also make rounds of the polling booths, Rahul Gandhi’s visit is interesting as last time, when he lost from Amethi, he had made the mistake of not turning up on poll day.

It was a long and futile wait for reporters who were suddenly alerted that Rahul Gandhi would land at the Fursatganj airport in Raebareli and visit booths in Amethi. This was around 4pm, with just a little over an hour left to go for voting to close. Security was beefed up as all waited in anticipation and ATC was alerted to be on standby.

Then, suddenly, there was no one. The workers left, ATC withdrew its alert and reporters were told that Rahul Gandhi would not come. This was yet another cue that things were not looking good for the Gandhis.

Locals were irate. “If a candidate who is the sitting MP does not find time to visit the booths, it shows he is not interested. Maybe if he had come in the last leg, which is often considered the decisive one, things could have been different,” they said.

In stark contrast was Union minister Smriti Irani, who was making rounds of all booths to leave nothing to chance.

This time, as the Gandhis are fighting a prestige battle, Rahul Gandhi is not repeating his mistake. He will be there to visit booths. His mother, Sonia Gandhi, has tried to strike an emotional chord by telling voters: “I am handing over my son to you”. Priyanka Vadra has been parked in the constituency and is campaigning aggressively in both Amethi and Raebareli.

While Rahul Gandhi will take on Dinesh Singh, who had lost with a negligible margin to Sonia Gandhi in 2019, in Amethi, it will be Smriti Irani versus Gandhis’ close aide KL Sharma. While Gandhis are confident of a win, Irani says her work will sail her through. Interestingly, Irani will vote in Amethi as she is now registered as a voter here.

For Rahul Gandhi, who has been labelled an “outsider” and “absconder” by BJP, the fight will be to ensure he wins back his “family home”.

Explore in-depth coverage of Lok Sabha Election 2024 Schedule, Voter Turnout, Upcoming Phase And Much More At News18 Website

Pallavi Ghosh

Pallavi Ghosh has covered politics and Parliament for 15 years, and has reported extensively on Congress, UPA-I and UPA-II, and has now included the F

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