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regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 April 2024

Sonia Gandhi's letter to Rae Bareli states inability to contest upcoming Lok Sabha election due to age

Spokesperson for Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee, claimed that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was all set to contest seat

Piyush Srivastava Varanasi Published 16.02.24, 06:17 AM
Sonia Gandhi

Sonia Gandhi File picture

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who on Wednesday filed her nomination for the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan, has in a letter to the people of her pocket borough, Rae Bareli, said that she would not be able to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election because of ill-health and age.

Uttar Pradesh Congress President Ajai Rai said “there was no doubt” that Rae Bareli “would remain with the Nehru-Gandhi family”. Political circles are abuzz with speculation whether her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra would contest the seat.

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In her letter to the people of Rae Bareli in Hindi, Sonia, 77, wrote: “I’ll not contest the next election because of my (poor) health and age. I’ll not get the opportunity to serve you directly after taking this decision but my mind and heart will definitely remain with you. I know that you will support me and my family in every crisis.”

“I am proud to say that whatever I am today, I am because of you and I have always done my best to honour your trust,” Sonia, who has represented Rae Bareli five times since 2004, wrote.

In the message to voters, Sonia further said: “My family in Delhi is incomplete without you. It is complete when I come to Rae Bareli and meet all of you. My ties with you are very old. I have inherited these ties as a good fortune from my in-laws.”

Noting that the ties of her family with Rae Bareli are “very deep-rooted”, she said the constituency had sent her father-in-law, Feroze Gandhi, to the Lok Sabha in the first general election held after Independence.

“After that, you accepted my mother-in-law, Indira Gandhi,” she noted. “Ever since, our relationship grew stronger on the difficult road to affection despite the highs and lows of life and our faith in this bond grew stronger. You allowed me space to walk along on this shining path. I came to you after losing my mother-in-law and husband and you accepted me with open arms,” the former Congress chief said.

“I can never forget your staunch support for me through the adverse circumstances through the last two Lok Sabha elections,” Sonia recalled.

Sending her respect to elders and love to youngsters, she said: “I will see you soon.”

Rai, the Uttar Pradesh Congress president, said in Varanasi: “There is no doubt that the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat will remain with the Nehru-Gandhi family. They have served the constituency for more than six decades and would continue doing so.”

Asked whether Priyanka would be the next candidate from there, Rai said: “Priyanka will win from wherever she contests in UP. Besides Rae Bareli, Amethi will also remain their preferred constituency.”

Arvind Chaturvedi, a spokesperson for the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC), claimed that Priyanka was all set to contest from Rae Bareli.

A source in the Congress said: “The UPCC has suggested that Priyanka join Rahul’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Varanasi and continue with him till Rae Bareli.”

Rahul will enter Uttar Pradesh with his Yatra through Chandauli district on Friday. C.P. Rai, chairman of the media cell of the state Congress, said: “Rahul will enter the state from the Naubatpur area in Chandauli. He will be in Varanasi on Saturday and take out a procession. Later, he will offer prayers at Kashi Vishwanath temple and address a rally
in Godaulia.”

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