Cong appoints ex-CMs Baghel, Gehlot as AICC observers for Rae Bareli, Amethi

Cong appoints ex-CMs Baghel, Gehlot as AICC observers for Rae Bareli, Amethi

The Congress on Monday appointed former chief ministers Bhupesh Baghel and Ashok Gehlot as AICC senior observers for Rae Bareli and Amethi Parliamentary constituencies, respectively.

New Delhi | The Congress on Monday appointed former chief ministers Bhupesh Baghel and Ashok Gehlot as AICC senior observers for Rae Bareli and Amethi Parliamentary constituencies, respectively.

Ending weeks of suspense, the Congress on Friday announced that Rahul Gandhi will contest the Lok Sabha elections from Rae Bareli, the constituency held by his mother Sonia Gandhi for the last two decades, and Kishori Lal Sharma, a close aide of the Gandhi family, will fight from Amethi.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is set to spearhead the campaign in Rae Bareli and Amethi, and camp in these parliamentary constituencies in Uttar Pradesh from Monday to ensure the party's victory in the two high-profile seats.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge has approved the proposal to appoint Bhupesh Baghel and Ashok Gehlot as AICC senior observers for Rae Bareli and Amethi Parliamentary constituencies respectively, a statement issued by the party said.

Priyanka Gandhi has already taken command of the campaign and will remain camped in Rae Bareli and Amethi from Monday till the end of polls.

Priyanka Gandhi will be holding hundreds of 'nukkad sabhas', meetings and door-to-door campaign programmes, the sources said.

"The centre will be Rae Bareli where she will be stationed at a guest house. From booth management to outreach, everything would be handled by her," the source said.

Already outreach has started with freedom fighters' families and those who have had familial ties with the Gandhi family for decades, the sources said.

She will also monitor the digital and social media campaign in the two constituencies, they said.

Campaign at various levels of the organisation will be done to reach out to everyone in the two constituencies, they said.

Priyanka Gandhi will also take care of the planning and scheduling of campaign by top leaders such as Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge, former Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot.

She will cover about 250-300 villages and give equal time to both constituencies, the sources said.

Strong foundations that Feroze Gandhi laid in Rae Bareli were later nurtured and strengthened by his wife and former prime minister Indira Gandhi, who won the seat in 1967, 1971 and 1980, followed by friends and members of the Gandhi family.

In Amethi, a non-Gandhi family member is in the fray after 25 years to take on incumbent BJP MP Smriti Irani.

Irani had defeated Rahul Gandhi by more than 55,000 votes in 2019 in Amethi, while in Rae Bareli Sonia Gandhi defeated BJP's Dinesh Pratap Singh by more than 1,67,000 votes.

Rahul Gandhi will take on Singh, who has been fielded again by the BJP.

Sharma was the key person who had looked after the two prestigious constituencies and been a representative of the Gandhis in the two key seats.

The Amethi and Rae Bareli seats will go to polls on May 20 in the fifth round of the seven-phase general election.

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