Kharge authorised to decide Amethi, Raebareli candidates: Congress

PTI, Apr 29, 2024, 3:27 PM IST

Mallikarjun Kharge (Credit: PTI / File)

New Delhi: Amid speculation over whether Gandhi family members would contest the Lok Sabha polls from Uttar Pradesh and Raebareli, the Congress on Monday said its Central Election Committee (CEC) has authorised party chief Mallikarjun Kharge to decide the candidates for the two constituencies.

The Uttar Pradesh Congress has urged the top party leadership to field Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra from the two seats.

Asked when the candidates for the two seats would be announced and whether Gandhi family members would be fielded from there, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said, “The president has been authorised to decide the candidates. Elections are not run in a hidden manner, they are run with all paraphernalia before everyone. You will get to know when the candidates are announced.”

“In our party, such decisions are not taken by two people in (behind) closed doors, the CEC has put forward its views and with its and the president’s nod, the candidates will be decided,” she said.

Rahul Gandhi contested the Lok Sabha elections from Kerala’s Wayanad, where polling took place on Friday in the second phase of the polls.

He had said earlier that he will follow “whatever order” he gets from his party.

Speculation has been rife that Rahul Gandhi might contest the Lok Sabha polls from Amethi, a seat he represented for three straight terms earlier, and Priyanka Gandhi from Raebareli, a seat that was previously held by her mother Sonia Gandhi.

Both seats are considered bastions of the Gandhi family and the local units of the Congress have demanded that the two scions of the family contest from there. Gandhi won the Amethi seat in three consecutive Lok Sabha elections from 2004. BJP leader Smriti Irani wrested the seat in 2019.

Gandhi, who contested from both Amethi and Wayanad in 2019, had won the elections from Wayanad.

Polling in Amethi and Raebareli will be held on May 20, in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha polls.

The Congress has forged an alliance with the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh and is contesting 17 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

The counting of votes for all seven phases of the Lok Sabha polls will be taken up on June 4.

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