Raebareli, Amethi not just constituencies for us: Rahul Gandhi

In a personal video with his mother shared on social media, Rahul is seen viewing family pictures in Amethi and Raebareli

Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in a screengrab from the video (source: PTI)
Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in a screengrab from the video (source: PTI)


On a day when BJP president J.P. Nadda questioned if Congress leader Rahul Gandhi could be loyal to Raebareli when "he wasn’t to his old constituency" of Amethi, and seeking to retain the Raebareli seat held by his mother Sonia Gandhi for two decades, Rahul on Tuesday said he has an emotional family relationship with the people and will stand by both Amethi and Rae Bareli whenever required.

In a personal video with his mother shared on social media, Rahul is seen viewing family pictures in Amethi and Raebareli, and remembering their connect with the people of both Amethi and Raebareli.

Rahul is contesting the Raebareli Lok Sabha seat against the BJP's Dinesh Pratap Singh, who unsuccessfully contested the last Lok Sabha election against Sonia Gandhi. Rahul was earlier an MP from Amethi, but lost to Smriti Irani in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

"Raebareli and Amethi are not just constituencies for us, they are our karmabhoomi, every corner of which holds the memories of generations. Looking at old photographs with my mother, I also remembered my father and grandmother, who began this tradition of service, which was carried forward by me and my mother," Rahul said in a post in Hindi on X.

"This relationship of more than 100 years, built on the foundation of love and trust, has given us everything. Whenever Amethi and Raebareli call us, we will be there," he added.

In the over six-minute video, Sonia Gandhi says she began visiting Amethi in 1982 when the Congress would go there to hold medical camps, and several doctors from Delhi would always work there and offer help.

"Panditji (Jawaharlal Nehru) started his political career from the area in 1921 and farmer leader Baba Ram Chandra shared his grief with Panditji. Rahul's grandfather Feroze Gandhi was the MP from Raebareli in 1952," Sonia Gandhi said, adding that after his passing, Rahul's grandmother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi began representing Raebareli.

"We used to go from village to village during weddings or deaths and even visited during floods or droughts. They accepted me immediately and I shared a relationship like a daughter and daughter-in-law," she said.

Rahul said, "Our family has a relationship of over 100 years with Amethi and Rae Bareli," adding that his great-grandfather began his politics against the British from Raebareli.

He also said during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government's tenure, people of the area had come to them when an ITI was being shut down in Raebareli and said, "we worked hard to save it as we wanted to save that technological spirit in the area".

"In 1982, when my father went there, he worked hard and initiated a lot of development work and transformed Amethi completely. In Raebareli, my grandmother initiated a lot of development and it was ahead of Amethi. But when my father went to Amethi, he ushered in a lot of developmental work and then it looked as if Amethi was ahead of Raebareli," he also said.

Then, he said, our government was formed and my mother and I initiated a lot of work and ensured road connectivity and constructed national highways and other roads. "We also started self-help groups and helped lakhs of women open bank accounts, which transformed their lives."

Rahul said they also opened institutions there like the Petroleum institute and CRPF training camp. "The biggest work that could have transformed Amethi and Raebareli, and was stopped by the BJP, was the food park, where 40 separate storage units would have been created. I felt that that food park would have changed the face of Amethi and Raebareli.

"That is my plan for Raebareli, to connect Rae Bareli with the entire country and open up manufacturing units there. I would also want to set up a food processing unit there," Gandhi said.

"I also want to hear out the hearts of people of Rae Bareli and act on it. The works done by my grandmother and mother in Rae Bareli, I want to take that forward," he noted.

"That relationship is different, it is like a family, friendship and affection. Like I have my relationship with my mother and sister, I have the same relationship with Rae Bareli. I also like the food there and the 'Arhar ki Dal' made there, you can't find anywhere else. For me, Amethi and Rae Bareli are the same and whenever Amethi and Rae Bareli require us, we will be available," Rahul Gandhi also said.

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