Rahul retains Raebareli, Priyanka contests Wayanad

New Delhi: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is set to make her electoral debut alongside Rahul Gandhi, who will be contesting in Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh, while Priyanka will contest in Wayanad, Kerala. This announcement was made by party chairman Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday, just a day before the filing deadline on Tuesday.

Kharge, along with the Gandhi siblings, shared the news, stating that the party decided to have Rahul Gandhi retain Raebareli due to the constituency’s historical significance to his family and the Congress party.

“Most significantly, Wayanad residents love him and want him to keep the seat. But the rules prohibit it. Priyanka ji will run from Wayanad,” Kharge remarked in Hindi.

Rahul Gandhi expressed his emotional connection with both Raebareli and Wayanad, thanking the people of Wayanad for their support during his tenure as an MP. He assured that while Priyanka would contest in Wayanad, he would continue to visit and fulfill their commitments.

“Priyanka will run in Wayanad, but I will visit often and keep our pledges to the locals. I’m glad to represent Raebareli because of our history, but it wasn’t easy. It was hard. Wayanad people supported me. They fueled my struggle amid a tough period. I promise Wayanad residents my continued support,” Rahul said.

He expressed confidence in Priyanka’s ability to represent Wayanad effectively, emphasizing that the people could consider both siblings as their representatives.

Priyanka Gandhi shared her excitement and commitment to Wayanad, promising to uphold the legacy her brother established. “I will work hard and represent Wayanad well. I worked in Raebareli for 20 years and had a long history there. That link is unbreakable. I will assist bhaiyya (big brother) in Raebareli and be in both constituencies,” she stated.

Rahul Gandhi previously won Wayanad in 2019 after a surprising loss to Smriti Irani in Amethi. He secured the seat again in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections with a margin of 3.64 lakh votes. Meanwhile, Rahul won Raebareli with 3.9 lakh votes after his mother, Sonia Gandhi, appealed to voters, highlighting her son’s dedication.

Sonia Gandhi represented Raebareli from 2004 until her recent election to the Rajya Sabha. The constituency has a long-standing connection with the Gandhi family, including Rahul’s grandmother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her husband Feroze Gandhi.

Media reports suggested Rahul Gandhi was initially reluctant to give up Wayanad, but considering Uttar Pradesh’s significant number of Lok Sabha seats, the decision was made for him to contest in Raebareli.

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