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Rahul may contest from Rae Bareli

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra may not contest in this year’s Lok Sabha elections, sources in the party said.

Screenshot 2024 04 30 094126NEW DELHI: The Congress is likely to field Rahul Gandhi from Rae Bareli and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra may not contest in this year’s Lok Sabha elections, sources in the party said, amid continuing suspense over who would get the Rae Bareli and Amethi nominations.

It was widely speculated that Rahul would contest from Amethi. However, sources said the party may field late Congress leader Sheila Kaul’s grandson in that seat. Kaul, a sister-in-law of Jawaharlal Nehru, was a five-time member of Parliament and Union minister.

Sources said who contests from Rae Bareli is important for the Congress as it has been a party bastion since 1951. After serving four consecutive terms as the Rae Bareli MP, Sonia Gandhi vacated the seat to become a Rajya Sabha MP. However, Priyanka’s unwillingness to fight the elections and the BJP’s constant attack on the Gandhis for turning away from the “family bastions” has put the party in a spot.

“As Priyanka is unwilling to contest, the party has no other option than fielding Rahul Gandhi. The seat was held by former PM Indira Gandhi three times and Indira’s husband Feroze Gandhi also represented the seat in 1952 and 1957,” said a party leader.

An announcement on Rahul’s candidature from Rae Bareli is likely on Tuesday, a party leader said. The Congress has very little time left to make the announcement as the last date to file the nomination papers for both seats is May 3. Voting for Amethi and Rae Bareli constituencies will be held on May 20.

Meanwhile, the Congress said its Central Election Committee has authorised party chief Mallikarjun Kharge to decide the candidates.

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