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regular-article-logo Thursday, 23 May 2024

Rahul Gandhi ran away from Amethi, but even Wayanad going to be tough: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Prasad also alleged that Gandhi has shifted base to Wayanad 'because of heavy concentration of Muslims and Christians' in the Kerala constituency

PTI Patna Published 03.04.24, 04:34 PM
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Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday charged former Congress president Rahul Gandhi with having "run away from Amethi", Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh after his defeat at the hands of Union minister Smriti Irani.

Gandhi lost to Irani in the 2019 Lok Sabha election in Amethi constituency.

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Addressing a press conference here, Prasad also alleged that Gandhi has shifted base to Wayanad "because of heavy concentration of Muslims and Christians" in the Kerala constituency, but claimed, "he is in for a tough fight there too".

"Why has Rahul Gandhi run away from Amethi? He has won from there. Earlier, the seat had been represented by his father and late uncle Sanjay Gandhi. He should have had the courage to enter the fight", said the BJP leader.

Notably, while the BJP has announced that Irani will be seeking re-election from Amethi, the Congress is yet to declare its candidate for the seat, fuelling speculations that Gandhi might be reluctant this time, having tasted defeat in the 2019 general elections.

Prasad added, "You know why Rahul Gandhi chose Wayanad? It is because there is a heavy concentration of Muslims and Christians..... but there are surveys that suggest he is in for a tough fight this time".

Significantly, Gandhi is locked in a triangular fight in Wayanad where his principal rival is CPI's Annie Raja. However, the BJP, which is not yet a major force in the southern province, has tried to queer the pitch by fielding state unit chief K Surendran from the hotly contested seat.

Interestingly, Irani is likely to be in Wayanad on Thursday to accompany Surendran for filing of nomination papers. Gandhi filed his nomination papers on Wednesday after a spectacular roadshow.

Prasad, who takes pride in having been "the counsel for Ram Lala (deity)" in the Ayodhya title suit, also alleged that while the BJP respected "Sanatan culture", Congress leaders like Gandhi turned down the invitation for "pran pratishtha" because of "vote bank considerations".

The former Union minister, who is also the local MP, and seeking re-election from Patna Sahib, added "Tomorrow, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Jamui to address his first election meeting in Bihar, he will tell the people what his government has achieved in the last 10 years and what he proposes to do in future".

"On the other hand, the INDIA alliance has nothing to offer to the people, so it keeps whining about so-called threats to democracy, free press, judiciary and the Election Commission", said Prasad.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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