Battle for UP Congress banks on outsiders in Amethi Rae Bareli

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Lucknow, Feb 8

The Congress, after the exodus of leaders from the party, is now banking on turncoats to contest the elections in Rae Bareli and Amethi – once considered its bastions.

In Amethi, the Congress has fielded Ashish Shukla who owed allegiance to the BJP before joining the Congress.

In Jagdishpur assembly segment in Amethi, the Congress candidate Vijay Pasi, has come from the Samajwadi Party.

However, Amethi is not the only assembly constituency where the Congress has fielded leaders from other parties.

In Rae Bareli too, the party fielded candidates who do not belong to the party's cadres.

In Harchandpur, where the Congress MLA Rakesh Singh joined the BJP, the party has opted for former minister Surendra Vikram Singh (who owed allegiance to the SP).

It has fielded Sudha Dwivedi from Sareni assembly seat who was reportedly seeking a ticket from the BJP. The Congress candidate from Unchahar Atul Singh was also seeking a ticket from the BJP.

Both agreed to contest on a Congress ticket after their claim was ignored by the BJP.

"Two of our sitting MLAs from Rae Bareli – Rakesh Singh (Harchandpur) and Aditi Singh – have joined the BJP and we have to look outside the party for new candidates," admitted a party leader.

He said, "The Congress does not have strong candidates from its cadres in Rae Bareli and Amethi. So, the party has relied on outsiders. This may be called a good strategy if selection of candidates works in the Congress' favour."

Those fielded from within the Congress include Manish Singh Chauhan from Rae Bareli assembly seat and Sushil Pasi from Bachhrawan assembly seat.

The Congress has fielded district Congress committee president Pradeep Singhal from Tiloi assembly seat of Amethi. Fateh Mohammad has been fielded from Gauriganj assembly seat of Amethi while Arjun Pasi will contest from the Salon assembly seat.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi represents the Rae Bareli seat in the Lok Sabha while party leader Rahul Gandhi, who was the MP from Amethi from 2004 to 2019, lost to union minister Smriti Irani in 2019.


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