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Have an emotional connect with Rae Bareli: Rahul Gandhi

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New Delhi, May 14 (PTI) As he seeks to retain the Rae Bareli seat represented by his mother Sonia Gandhi for two decades, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said he has an emotional family relationship with the people and will stand by both Amethi and Rae Bareli whenever required.

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He shared an emotional video with his mother on social media, where he is seen watching family pictures in Amethi and Rae Bareli and remembered their connect with the people of both Amethi and Rae Bareli.

Rahul Gandhi is contesting the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat and is pitted against BJP's Dinesh Pratap Singh, who had unsuccessfully contested the last Lok Sabha election against Sonia Gandhi.

Rahul Gandhi was earlier an MP from Amethi but had lost to Smriti Irani in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

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"Rae Bareli and Amethi are not just constituencies for us, they are our 'karmabhoomi', every corner of which is holding the memories of generations.

"Looking at old photographs with my mother, I also remembered my father and grandmother, whose started this tradition of service and was carried forward by me and my mother," he said in a post in Hindi on X.

"This relationship of more than 100 years old, built on the foundation of love and trust, has given us everything. Whenever Amethi and Rae Bareli calls us, we will be there," he also said while sharing the video.

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In the over 6-minute video, Sonia Gandhi said she started visiting Amethi in 1982 when they used to go there for holding medical camps and several good doctors from Delhi used to always work there and offer help.

"Panditji started this political life with the area in 1921 and a farmer leader Baba Ram Chandra shared his grief with Panditji. Rahul's grandfather Feroze Gandhi was the MP from Rae Bareli in 1952," she also said, adding that after his demise, his grandmother Indira Gandhi started representing Rae Bareli.

"We used to visit village to village during weddings or deaths and even visited during floods or drought and visited people during to attend villages. They accepted me immediately and I shared a relationship like a daughter and daughter-in-law," Sonia Gandhi also said.

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Rahul said, "Our family has a relationship of over 100 years with Amethi and Rae Bareli".

He added that his great grandfather started his politics against the British from Rae Bareli.

He also said that during Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, people of the area had come to them when an ITI was being shut in Rae Bareli and said, "we worked hard to save it as we wanted to save that technological spirit in the area." "In 1982 when my father went there, he worked hard and initiated a lot of development work and transformed Amethi completely.

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"In Rae Bareli, my grandmother had initiated a lot of development and it was ahead of Amethi. But, whn my father went to Amethi, he ushered in a lot of developmental works and then it looked as if Amethi is ahead of Rae Bareli," he also said.

Then, he said, our government was formed and my mother and I initiated a lot of works and ensured road connectivity and constructed national highways and other roads. "We also started self help groups and helped lakhs of women and opened their bank accounts that transformed their lives." Gandhi said they also opened institutions there like the Petroleum institute and CRPF training camp.

"The biggest work that could have transformed Amethi and Rae areli, and was stopped by the BJP, was the food park, where 40 separate storage would have been created. I felt that that food park would have changed the face of Amethi and Rae Bareli.

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"That is my plan for Rae Bareli, to connect Rae Bareli with the entire country and open up manufacturing units there. I would also want to set up a food processing unit there," Gandhi said.

"I also want to hear out the hearts of people of Rae Bareli and act on it. The works done by my grandmother and mother in Rae Bareli, I want to take that forward," he noted.

"That relationship is different, it is like a family, friendship and affection. Like I have my relationship with my mother and sister, I have the same relationship with Rae Bareli. I also like the food there and the 'Arhar ki Dal' made there, you can't find anywhere else. For me, Amethi and Rae Bareli are the same and whenever Amethi and Rae Bareli require us, we will be available," Rahul Gandhi also said. PTI SKC ZMN

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