Rae Bareli, which kept the Gandhi family in its sights, was alienated by Congress.

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Politics is a game of possibilities. Even the biggest political pundits cannot make any predictions about what will happen tomorrow. This is because the character and face of leaders keeps changing frequently. Leaders make or break relations with their voters and the public as per their convenience. The latest example of this is Sonia Gandhi. Sonia Gandhi has turned her back on Rae Bareli with great indifference. The same act which her son Rahul Gandhi did with the people of Amethi in 2019, is now being done by Sonia Gandhi with the people of Rae Bareli in 2024. After losing the elections from Amethi in 2019, Rahul Gandhi broke ties with the people of Amethi, whereas he often used to swear to live and die for Amethi. After the defeat in 2019, Rahul has stopped mentioning Amethi, leave alone coming to it. Now Sonia Gandhi has done the same thing. No one is upset that Sonia Gandhi is not contesting elections from Rae Bareli due to health reasons. The complaint is that once Sonia Gandhi would have come here, she would have informed the voters of Rae Bareli about her decision. After all, in many Lok Sabha elections, the people here had not refrained from making big leaders taste defeat for Sonia Gandhi. Today the same Sonia Gandhi has completely alienated the people of Rae Bareli. That is why it is being expected that Priyanka Gandhi will also not contest elections from Rae Bareli. If there was a possibility of Priyanka Gandhi contesting elections from here, Sonia Gandhi would not have behaved like this with the people of Rae Bareli. Although after realizing her mistake, Sonia Gandhi has written a touching letter to the people of Rae Bareli, but there is no clarity in it.

The opposition is alleging that it would have been understandable if Sonia Gandhi had retired from politics due to ill health, but the reality is that Sonia Gandhi is scared of winning the elections from Rae Bareli this time. She feels that she will lose the elections from Rae Bareli, otherwise she would have filed her nomination here like many previous times and the people of Rae Bareli would have made her win. If anyone including Sonia Gandhi thinks that Rajya Sabha is made for sick people then it is their wrong thinking.

However, after the way Sonia has betrayed the people of Rae Bareli, even if Priyanka contests elections from here, it will not be easy, if not difficult, for her to win the elections. Not only this, it may also be difficult for Priyanka Vadra because she has been staying away from Rae Bareli for a long time, whereas till 2019 she used to visit Rae Bareli, her mother’s parliamentary constituency.

It is noteworthy that Sonia Gandhi reached Jaipur in Rajasthan and filed her nomination for the Rajya Sabha elections on 14 February 2024. From this it has become clear that she will not contest the Lok Sabha elections this time. Rae Bareli has been a traditional seat of Congress. Sonia Gandhi won the Lok Sabha elections from here for the fifth time in 2019. During the 2019 elections, Sonia Gandhi had announced that she would not contest the next Lok Sabha elections. After becoming Congress President, she contested elections for the first time from Rae Bareli in 1999 and won. After Sonia Gandhi withdrew from Rae Bareli seat, it was being claimed about Priyanka Gandhi that she would contest from Rae Bareli in the Lok Sabha elections. However, now the discussion regarding this has come to a halt. Congress has also started secretly claiming that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will not contest the 2024 elections from Rae Bareli.

Gandhi family and Congress feel that Priyanka Vadra’s condition may also become like Rahul’s. Just as the people of Amethi had rejected Rahul, similarly the people of Rae Bareli should reject Priyanka. In fact, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi had contested from the traditional Amethi seat. Rahul had been winning elections from here since 2004. But, in 2019 he had to face defeat at the hands of BJP’s Smriti Irani. Since then, Rahul Gandhi has reached Amethi only on a few occasions. This time, Congress is preparing to enter the electoral fray in UP with the help of opposition alliance, whereas the organization of the party at the grassroots level is very weak. Priyanka was made in-charge of the state during the UP elections 2022. Priyanka, who entered the election field with the slogan ‘I am a girl, can fight’, had tried to leave her mark in UP politics, but she could not succeed in it. Priyanka did not get any special success in this election. The party had won two seats in the 2017 assembly elections. Priyanka, who is holding the post of General Secretary of the party, could not even succeed in increasing the vote percentage of the party in UP. In the two-way contest between Bharatiya Janata Party and Samajwadi Party, the party could not get any significant success.

Congress has continuously weakened in Rae Bareli in the last few years. During the UP elections 2022, the strength of Samajwadi Party was seen increasing in Rae Bareli. At the same time, Aditi Singh, who joined BJP from Congress, had won from Rae Bareli Sadar seat. BJP won for the first time in the Congress fort. Even in the Modi-Yogi wave of 2014 and 2019, BJP was not successful in conquering the fort of Rae Bareli, but now the situation on the ground of Congress is not good. In the review conducted by the top leadership of Congress, questions are being raised about the party’s victory on this seat after Sonia Gandhi left the seat. That is why Priyanka is not being fielded from here. People close to Priyanka are also claiming that Priyanka Gandhi herself does not want to contest elections from Rae Bareli. Overall, there is no safe seat left for the Gandhi family in Uttar Pradesh. Due to this, after about 70 years, UP Congress will be without Congress. Whereas once Congress used to be a strong stronghold of UP. On the strength of UP, it could form its own government even at the Centre. UP had given many Prime Ministers to Congress, but now all these things have been confined to the pages of the past.

-Ajay Kumar

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