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Nomination deadline for Amethi, Rae Bareli seats in UP ends today

Posters of Rahul have come up in both Amethi and Rae Bareli as the local leadership is hopeful that one of the Gandhis will contest from Amethi.

amethiNEW DELHI: With barely hours left for filing of nomination papers for the Amethi and Rae Bareli seats, the Congress is continuing to keep the suspense on whether Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka will contest from the prestigious seats.

Though there was no official word, sources said that Rahul is likely to enter the fray from Rae Bareli. That decision was taken after much deliberations within the party leadership. However, sources said Priyanka may not contest the general elections.

On Wednesday, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said the decision would be announced by Thursday evening. Yet, there was no official announcement till going to the press.

However, posters of Rahul have come up in both Amethi and Rae Bareli as the local leadership is hopeful that one of the Gandhis will contest from Amethi. “We received a message from the high command in the evening to make preparations for Friday’s nomination. The party will also hold a rally today,” said a leader.

According to sources, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge has conveyed to the Gandhis that not contesting from Uttar Pradesh would not augur well for the party’s prospects in the Hindi heartland. Rahul represented Amethi for three straight terms from 2004 to 2019 before he was defeated by Union minister Smriti Irani by over 50,000 votes in 2019. Irani, who is seeking a second term from Amethi, has challenged Rahul to contest from the seat. A section of the leaders believe that if Rahul does not take up the challenge, it will only vindicate the BJP’s charges of him running away from the seat.

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