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Rahul to retain Raebareli, Priyanka to contest from Wayanad: Congress

New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram: Congress President Mallikarjuna Kharge announced on Monday that Rahul Gandhi, who was elected from both Kerala’s Wayanad and UP’s Raebareli in the recent Lok Sabha elections, will relinquish the former seat where Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi will be fielded as the party candidate for the ensuing bypoll.

The announcement, which followed consultations between the Gandhi family and top Congress leaders, was greeted with jubilation by party leaders and allies in Kerala.

“We all in the Congress have decided that Rahul Gandhi will remain the MP from Raebareli. He had also fought from Wayanad, whose people are very supportive. Thus we have decided that Priyanka Gandhi will fight the polls from Wayanad,” Kharge said.

Rahul Gandhi said that he has “an emotional relationship with Raebareli and the people of Wayanad”.

“In the last five years, the people of Wayanad stood with me and gave me energy to fight in a very difficult time. I will stand by the commitments that we’ve made. We will deliver on those commitments,” he said.

“I’m confident that Priyanka is going to win the elections and will be a very good representative for the people of Wayanad. My doors are always open for the people of Wayanad for the rest of my life & I love every single person in Wayanad,” he added.

“I’m very happy to be able to represent Wayanad. I won’t let the people of Wayanad feel Rahul ji’s absence. I will try my best to be a good representative,” Priyanka Gandhi said.

She also said that she had a very old bond with Raebareli, which cannot be broken at any cost.

“Me and Rahul will be present both in Raebareli and Wayanad,” she added.

Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly, V.D. Satheesan, said that Priyanka Gandhi would win the bypoll with the highest margin ever seen in Kerala.

“Rahul and the Congress hold Wayanad dear and they have decided to send Priyanka. We welcome Priyanka to Wayanad… She will win with the biggest ever margin,” Satheesan wrote on his Facebook page.

Rahul Gandhi had retained Wayanad with ease, though it came with a reduced margin when he finished with around 3.64 lakh votes, down from 4.37 lakh in 2019.

Incidentally, in Wayanad and among many Congress leaders, it was a foregone conclusion that due to political compulsions and the need to revive the party in the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi would vacate Wayanad and speculation was rife that Priyanka Gandhi would replace him.

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