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BJP identifies three potential candidates for Rae Bareli amid Congress’ suspense

Notably, in its electoral past, Rae Bareli has only chosen two non-Congress candidates: Raj Narain of the Janata Party in 1977 and Ashok Singh of the BJP, who won the seat in 1996 and 1998.

Rae BareliNEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to dispel all speculations surrounding the candidature for the high-profile Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat, with plans underway to finalise and announce the candidate by the end of this week.

With the seat heading to the polls on May 20th as part of the fifth phase, the BJP, sensing favourable conditions, has already narrowed down its selection to three potential candidates for the constituency.

Sources within the BJP have hinted that the ‘wait and watch’ stand of the party is likely to come to an end.

Speaking to TNIE on Tuesday, a senior BJP functionary said, “Whether Congress makes anyone its candidate or not, we are going to declare our candidate soon (Congress kisi ko apna umidvar banay ya na banay, ham log apna umidvar ghosit karne ja rahe hai jaldi).”

Rae Bareli, historically a stronghold of the Congress party, has been represented by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on three occasions and former AICC president Sonia Gandhi since 2004.

However, Sonia Gandhi’s election to the Rajya Sabha in February this year has opened the possibility for another member of the Gandhi family to contest from the Congress pocket borough.

In the 2019 election, Sonia Gandhi received 5.34 lakh votes, defeating the BJP’s Dinesh Pratap Singh, who garnered 3.67 lakh votes.

In the 2014 election, despite the purported “Modi wave,” Sonia Gandhi was elected by a significant margin, securing 5.26 lakh votes compared to the BJP candidate Ajay Aggarwal’s 1.73 lakh votes.

Notably, in its electoral past, Rae Bareli has only chosen two non-Congress candidates: Raj Narain of the Janata Party in 1977 and Ashok Singh of the BJP, who won the seat in 1996 and 1998.

Amid the continuing suspense from Congress, BJP sources have suggested that Rae Bareli MLA Aditi Singh has emerged as the potential frontrunner among other candidates for the LS seat.

Aditi, a two-time MLA from Rae Bareli, carried the seat as a Congress candidate in 2017 before switching to the BJP in 2021. She retained her seat as a saffron party candidate in the 2022 UP Assembly elections. Belonging to an influential political family, Aditi holds an MBA degree from Duke University in the United States. Her father, AK Singh, once a member of Congress, was a multi-time MLA from the Rae Bareli seat.

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