Smriti Irani reacts to Rahul Gandhi’s Amethi move: ‘Accepted defeat’ | Latest News India

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After 25 years, the Lok Sabha elections in Amethi will take place without a candidate belonging to the influential Gandhi family. The Congress on Friday fielded Kishori Lal Sharma from the constituency, which used to be the party’s stronghold. Rahul Gandhi, who won thrice from the seat before being ousted by BJP stalwart Smriti Irani, will contest the polls from Rae Bareli.

Rae Bareli: Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi. (PTI)

Reacting to the development, Smriti Irani, who single-handedly breached the impregnable Congress fortress in Amethi, said the party has accepted its defeat in Amethi.

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“No member of the Gandhi family contesting from Amethi in itself is an indication that Congress has accepted its defeat from Amethi even before the elections,” she said.

Amethi and Gandhi family

Amethi has been the Congress party’s citadel since its creation in 1967. Rahul Gandhi had been the MP from the seat between 2004 and 2019. Before him, Sonia Gandhi was the party’s MP.

Rahul Gandhi’s uncle Sanjay Gandhi as well as his father Rajiv Gandhi had been Amethi’s MP.

The last time a non-Gandhi was in the fray from the constituency was in 1998, when Satish Sharma, a close aide of Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, contested the polls. However, he lost to BJP’s Sanjaya Sinh.

The next year, Sonia Gandhi contested from Amethi, dealing a humiliating blow to Sinh, with a margin of over three lakh votes.

In 2004, Sonia Gandhi switched over to Rae Bareli, handing the reins of the Congress bastion to Rahul Gandhi.

Amethi’s political history

Amethi’s first MP was Congress’s Vidya Dhar Bajpai. In 1977, Janata Party’s Ravindra Pratap Singh became the MP. However, three years later, Sanjay Gandhi defeated him.

After Sanjay Gandhi’s tragic death in a plane crash, Rajiv Gandhi won the Lok Sabha bypolls. He remained Amethi’s MP until his death in 1991.

Congress leader Satish Sharma won the seat twice — 1991 and 1996. In 1998, BJP’s Sanjaya Sinh became Amethi’s MP for a brief time.

In 2014, Rahul Gandhi defeated Smriti Irani by a margin of over 2 lakh votes.

In 2019, however, BJP’s ‘giant killer’ Smriti Irani pulled off a famous victory as she defeated Rahul Gandhi with a handsome margin of 55000 votes.

Also read: Who is Kishori Lal Sharma, Congress party’s candidate in Amethi?

In Rae Bareli, Rahul Gandhi will take on BJP’s Dinesh Pratap Singh, who lost the 2019 elections to Sonia Gandhi.

Voting will take place in Amethi and Rae Bareli on May 20.

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