Have been working in Rae Bareli and Amethi constituencies for 41 years, says Kishori Lal Sharma

The Congress candidate had been an MP representative for both Rae Bareli and Amethi, looking after the two Gandhi family bastions

Kishori Lal Sharma during a poll campaign in Amethi (photo: @KLSharmaINC/X)
Kishori Lal Sharma during a poll campaign in Amethi (photo: @KLSharmaINC/X)


The first time this Congress fortress was breached in 25 years was when Smriti Irani won the seat by a margin of 55,000 votes in 2019. Should Congress' Amethi candidate Kishori Lal Sharma become the won to take down the lotus and plant the tricolour flag back here, it will be one for the history books as well.

Sharma on Thursday, 9 May, said the BJP's claim that his party had accepted defeat in this constituency smacks of "arrogance." In an interview with PTI in Amethi, Sharma cited the past instance of Congress leader Satish Sharma, who contested from Amethi in the 1990s. Satish Sharma had won the Amethi seat in 1991 and 1996 but lost in 1998 and moved to Rae Bareli in 1999 with Sonia Gandhi contesting and winning Amethi.

This time, Rahul Gandhi is contesting the Lok Sabha election from the Rae Bareli seat, while Kishori Lal Sharma, has been fielded from the Amethi Lok Sabha seat.

Sharma had been an MP representative for both Rae Bareli and Amethi, looking after the two constituencies.

Asked about the BJP's criticism that the Congress had accepted defeat in Amethi by fielding him instead of a Gandhi family member, Sharma said, "It is their arrogance that is speaking that the seat has been surrendered. The answer to this will be given by the people on May 20 and the result will be out on 4 June."

On the BJP's jibes that Rahul Gandhi "ran away" because he was scared of losing from Amethi, Sharma said those who were born after Independence do not know the history of the Gandhi family.

"Neither the Gandhis (Nehru-Gandhi family) ran away during the time of the Britishers nor have they run away now or will so so in the future. We will make others run away. Rahul Gandhi is touring the whole country and ensuring that the BJP runs away," he told PTI.

Asked about the BJP's Rae Bareli candidate Dinesh Pratap Singh's jibes calling him Gandhi family's "peon" and "Priyanka Gandhi's clerk", Sharma said whatever values the BJP leaders would have been given from their family is with them.

"My father was illiterate but he gave me good values. So whatever values they would have gotten from their family that is manifesting itself. But I don't want to reply to such talk," he said.

Asked about his remarks that the constituency is 'amanat' of the Gandhi family, Sharma said he has been looking after the Rae Bareli and Amethi constituencies for more than 41 years and the Gandhi family resides in the minds of everyone in Amethi.

"They were asking for them (to contest from here) but whenever a Gandhi family member fights another member takes up the responsibility of managing that poll. Rahul ji is fighting from Rae Bareli and Priyanka Gandhi ji is managing both these elections and AICC observers are also coming. We are fighting the elections in this manner," Sharma said.

"This is right that it is their constituency. Even in the past Captain Satish Sharma fought from here but when Sonia ji had to fight, he had handed over the seat to Sonia ji. If such a situation arises in the future, I will do the same," he asserted.

Kishori Lal Sharma said the Gandhi family's stamp will always be present in the constituency, and he will ensure that it is maintained.

"If elected I will work as an MP and will keep Gandhi family's 'amanat' safe," Sharma said.

He said Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi camping in the two constituencies is a big boost for the workers in Amethi.

Asked about Rahul Gandhi's defeat in the 2019 polls, Sharma said power and administration were misused and there was also some shortcoming on the part of the Congress' management that he lost by about 55,000 votes.

"People did not defeat Rahul Gandhi, if they would have defeated him by 3 lakh votes, I would have thought they would have voted to defeat him. But he got over 4 lakh votes and lost by over 55,000 votes. I never blame the people of Amethi for the loss," the Congress leader said.

He said he doesn't want to make a prediction for the seat this time and asserted that it is up to the people to decide.

Asked if his victory would be the Gandhi family's victory from here, Sharma said, "It will be their victory."

Amethi has long been synonymous with the Gandhis but it would be the first time in 25 years that a Gandhi family member will not be contesting election from the Lok Sabha seat.

The Congress lost the seat in the last general election in 2019 when the BJP's Smriti Irani won by more than 55,000 votes.

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Published: 09 May 2024, 3:36 PM