Raebareli Lok Sabha seat will remain with Gandhi family: Ajay Rai

In the letter addressed to the public, Sonia Gandhi offered subtle hints about the possible entry of a member of her family to the constituency

File photo of (from left) Priyanka and Rahul with Sonia Gandhi
File photo of (from left) Priyanka and Rahul with Sonia Gandhi


Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Rai on Saturday said the Raebareli Lok Sabha seat "will remain with the Gandhi family". During an interaction with the media, the state president said, "The people of Raebareli have deep connections with the Gandhi family going across generations. The seat is of the Gandhi family and will remain with the Gandhi family."

When asked about who from the Gandhi family will contest from there, Rai said, "This definitely will be decided by them (Gandhi family)."

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who had represented the seat since 2004, on Thursday informed voters of Raebareli that she will not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls owing to health and age issues.

In the letter addressed to the public of Raebareli, the 77-year-old also offered subtle hints about the possible entry of a member of her family into the constituency.

"After this decision, I will not have the opportunity to serve you directly but my heart and soul will always remain with you. I know that you will stand by me and my family in the future, just as you had in the past," Sonia Gandhi said in a message written in Hindi.

It is being speculated in media reports that with Sonia Gandhi stepping away, her daughter Priyanka Gandhi may contest from Raebareli.

Meanwhile, Rai, during his interaction with the press, alleged that no cameras were allowed with Rahul Gandhi when he went to Kashi Vishwanath temple to offer prayers.

"All BJP leaders, when they come to offer prayers at Kashi Vishwanath temple, are allowed to enter with cameras. No cameras were allowed with Rahul Gandhi and till now no photos have been released by the administration."

Rahul Gandhi, on the second day of the Uttar Pradesh leg of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, offered prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi.

Addressing the people at the city's Gudaulia intersection, Gandhi said that India is a country of love, not of hatred. "The country will become weak due to conflict between brothers. True patriotism is to unite the country. I have come with my head bowed before Ganga ji. Everyone should feel that they have come to meet their brother during this yatra," Gandhi said.

He said that there are "two Indias" in the country - one for the rich and one for the poor. He also hit out at the media alleging that it doesn't show the issues of farmers and labourers of the country. "This media will show Modi ji 24 hours, will show Aishwarya Rai, but will not show the real issues," he said.

Congress leader and former Union minister Jairam Ramesh, MLA Aradhan Mishra Mona, Samajwadi Party MLA Pallavi Patel and other senior leaders were present during the media interaction.

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