Priyanka Gandhi likely to contest by-poll from Wayanad

NEW DELHI: The option of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra contesting the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat cannot be ruled out if her brother and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi vacates it in favour of Rae Bareli.
During his trip to Wayanad, Mr. Gandhi had told the people of the constituency that he faces a dilemma over which of the two seats to choose, given that he won both in the recent Lok Sabha election. However, he added that his decision would make them happy.
According to media reports quoting sources close to her had said that she had made the decision thinking if she also won the Lok Sabha polls, it would have led to three Gandhis being in Parliament-her mother, brother, and her- giving credence to the BJP’s dynastic politics charge against her family. However, she had campaigned heavily in Raebareli and Amethi, both of which were won by her party with big margins.
When the Lok Sabha results were declared, the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance shocked the BJP and pollsters by winning 43 of Uttar Pradesh’s 80 constituencies, with the Congress alone moving up to six from its 2019 tally of one. The BJP, which had clinched 62 constituencies last time, was reduced to 33, four lower than the Samajwadi Party’s 37
The comment of the top Congress leader, who did not wish to be named, assumes significance against the backdrop of Mr. Gandhi’s remarks. On the question of accepting the post of the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, the top leader said that Mr. Gandhi would take this decision at the right time, but added that the former Congress chief considers organisational responsibility equally important. “If RG takes the position, then the only downside is that he will be pinned down in Delhi. We will have to assess all sides before taking the call,” another Congress leader said.
The Congress leaders maintain that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is crippled and can be overturned at any time, but said that the larger consensus within the party is not to rush into it just yet.
He even claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would have lost “by two-three lakh votes” if his sister had fought against him in Varanasi. Priyanka’s poll debut was a highly anticipated issue ahead of the 2024 general elections especially after Sonia Gandhi gave up the Raebareli seat – which she had held since 2004 – and became a Rajya Sabha MP.
It was even reported that Priyanka Gandhi would contest from Raebareli and her brother would fight to win back Amethi from the BJP’s Smriti Irani. Congress President
Mallikarjun Kharge had asked the Gandhi siblings to take a decision but expressed a desire that he would like both to contest. He had also said that if they didn’t fight from the bastions, it would send a wrong message to the workers, the Congress’ allies in the Opposition, and the NDA. Gandhi, had, however, chosen not to contest.
(Bureau Report with inputs from Wayanad).

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