Rahul Gandhi files nomination papers from Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat

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Rahul Gandhi Raebareli

Raebareli: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi filed his papers from Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli constituency, barely an hour before nominations closed for the Lok Sabha seat on Thursday.

Analysis | Can Rahul Gandhi win Rae Bareli and save last family bastion?

Earlier, in the morning, the Congress ended the suspense over Amethi and Rae Bareli, announcing his candidature from the seat held by his mother Sonia Gandhi for the last two decades.

Gandhi had lost from the adjoining Amethi constituency in 2019, but won from Wayanad in Kerala – a seat he is contesting this time as well.

He was accompanied by Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as he filed his papers around 2 pm on the last day for filing nominations for the May 20 phase of polling.

Gandhi’s brother-in-law Robert too was with him. Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot accompanied the family The leaders arrived at the Fursatganj airport in Amethi, and then headed for adjoining Rae Bareli. A large number of Congress workers, and those from other INDIA bloc partners, turned up at the district collectorate to cheer the former party president.

The Congress on Friday also fielded Kishori Lal Sharma, a close aide of the Gandhi family, from the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency.

Rahul Gandhi is contesting from the seat that has been held by his mother Sonia Gandhi, his grandmother Indira Gandhi and his grandfather Feroze Gandhi in the past.

The BJP had on Thursday announced Dinesh Pratap Singh as its candidate from Rae Bareli. He had lost to Sonia Gandhi in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Posters with pictures of Rahul Gandhi and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav were brought Thursday evening to the Congress office in Gauriganj, in Amethi district.

Union minister and Amethi MP, who has already filed her nomination papers from that constituency again, mocked the Gandhis for not fielding any family member against her.

"The Gandhi family not being present in the election fray in Amethi indicates that the Congress has accepted its defeat in Amethi even before the polling on the seat," the BJP leader told reporters.

"Had they felt that there was any chance of victory on the seat, they would have contested from here and not fielded their proxy," she said soon after the Congress announced its pick for Amethi and Rae Bareli.

Uttar Pradesh Congress leaders had earlier called upon the Gandhi family to contest both the seats.