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Sonia files nomination from Rae Bareli seat

Rae Bareli, Apr 2 (PTI): Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday filed her nomination papers from the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat, the family’s pocket borough in Uttar Pradesh.        

Sonia, 67, who is seeking re-election from the seat, was accompanied by her son Rahul, the party's Vice- President.

The Samajwadi Party, the ruling party in the state, has decided not to field anyone against Sonia and Rahul, while the Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded Supreme Court lawyer Ajay Aggarwal.

The Aam Aadmi Party is yet to announce a candidate.

”The people of Rae Bareli have adopted me with immense affection and I hope they will make me victorious again in the election,” she told reporters in a brief interaction after filing her nomination.

Arriving from Delhi in the morning, Sonia Gandhi was given a rapturous welcome from the Fursatganj airport to the district collectorate office. With Rahul at the steering wheel, Gandhi was welcomed with showering of rose petals all the way.

Before she filed the nomination, a havan was performed at the local Congress office in which Sonia and Rahul participated. Old family loyalist Satish Sharma along with her lawyer was also present at the time of filing of nominations.

The constituency has been a Nehru-Gandhi family bastion since the 1960s. Indira Gandhi won it for the first time in 1967, taking over after the death of her husband Feroz, who was also a member of the Parliament from here.

Sonia is a three-time MP from Rae Bareli, including once elected in a by-election in 2006, after she resigned over the office of profit issue. In the 2004 elections she shifted to Rae Bareli from Amethi, leaving it to Rahul Gandhi.

In 1999, she won from Amethi and had also defeated BJP's Sushma Swaraj from the Bellary Lok Sabha constituency.