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regular-article-logo Sunday, 16 June 2024

Amethi: Congress deploys heavyweights to to campaign for Kishori Lal Sharma

The Congress has appointed Ashok Gehlot and Bhupesh Baghel, former chief ministers of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, as the party observers for Amethi and Rae Bareli, respectively

Piyush Srivastava Amethi, Rae Bareli (UP) Published 08.05.24, 06:06 AM
Congress candidate from Amethi constituency Kishori Lal Sharma with other leaders of the INDIA alliance during a roadshow before filing his nomination, ahead of the third phase of Lok Sabha elections, in Amethi district, Friday, May 3, 2024.

Congress candidate from Amethi constituency Kishori Lal Sharma with other leaders of the INDIA alliance during a roadshow before filing his nomination, ahead of the third phase of Lok Sabha elections, in Amethi district, Friday, May 3, 2024. PTI

The Congress has pulled in heavyweights to campaign for Kishori Lal Sharma — a close associate of Sonia Gandhi — and give a tough fight to Smriti Irani in Amethi while the BJP has formed dozens of new teams to campaign door-to-door for the Union minister.

The Congress has appointed Ashok Gehlot and Bhupesh Baghel, former chief ministers of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, as the party observers for Amethi and Rae Bareli, respectively. Priyanka Gandhi has already declared that she will camp in the twin constituencies till the end of the campaign.

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“Kishori Lal wanted me to contest from Amethi but we thought he was more experienced. I have learnt a lot from him. He knows the people and the area. He is an asset for you,” Priyanka told a gathering in Amethi on Tuesday before travelling 70km west to Rae Bareli to campaign for her brother, Rahul Gandhi.

Mobin Ahmad, a resident of Sri Ramganj in Amethi, supported the Congress’s decision to field Kishori Lal: “He is the right candidate against Irani. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team are trying everything to insult the Nehru-Gandhi family. Many of them would have been camping here and insulting Rahul and Priyanka if they had contested from Amethi. This may be the reason that Rahul shifted to Rae Bareli and Sharma was fielded from Amethi.”

“The game is now in the hands of the Nehru-Gandhi family. It would be a perfect humiliation for the BJP and Irani if an aide of Rahul and Priyanka defeats her. And it is not difficult if they campaign extensively in the constituency,” added Ahmad.

Ashok Singh, a Congress leader of Amethi said: “We have formed our village-level teams in such a way that they meet every voter to remind them what the Congress did during 65 years of its rule. We had devised a similar strategy for Sonia Gandhi in 1999 when she had contested the first time and won from here. It is an unbeatable strategy because we spend time with every voter.”

Reacting to the plan of the Congress, a BJP leader of Amethi said on the condition of anonymity: “We have also formed booth-level teams and going from house to house. Village-level teams were formed in the last two days. We had sent thousands of people to Ayodhya to worship at the Ram temple even before the Election Commission announced the schedule. The only problem this time is that the RSS members are not campaigning in Amethi or Rae Bareli. We don’t know why they are maintaining a distance from us.”

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