Rahul Gandhi concedes defeat in Amethi as Smriti Irani inflicts shock defeat on Congress president in Lok Sabha polls
The defeat of Rahul Gandhi from Amethi, considered a traditional stronghold of the Nehru-Gandhi family, is perhaps the biggest instance of dynastic leader biting the dust i
Rahul Gandhi, in the course of a short press conference on Thursday, conceded defeat in Amethi and asked BJP candidate Smriti Irani to look after the constituency.
The defeat of Rahul Gandhi from Amethi, considered a traditional stronghold of the Nehru-Gandhi family, is perhaps the biggest instance of dynastic leader biting the dust.
Amethi had been the Congress’ first family’s pocket borough since the 1980s.
Earlier, Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi had won from the constituency.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, in the course of a short press conference on Thursday, conceded defeat in Amethi and asked BJP candidate Smriti Irani to look after the constituency "with love."
The defeat of Rahul Gandhi from Amethi, considered a traditional stronghold of the Nehru-Gandhi family, is perhaps the biggest instance of dynastic leader biting the dust in the Lok Sabha election.
After the Congress president's statement, Irani put out a tweet, saying:
कौन कहता है आसमां में सुराख नहीं हो सकता ...
— Chowkidar Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) May 23, 2019
Amethi had been the Congress’ first family’s pocket borough since the 1980s. Earlier, Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi had won from the constituency.
The battle in Amethi this time had been predicted to be a close fight, and in the 2014 election, Irani had significantly reduced Gandhi's winning margin. As this article by Sanjay Singh reported in the course of the election campaign, there appeared to be an age divide in the constituency, with younger voters preferring the BJP, and the older generation going with the Congress.
While Rahul Gandhi had decided to contest from a second constituency — Wayanad — the Congress had denied that this was because of a possible defeat in Amethi. However, Irani had then said Gandhi fighting from a second seat was "an insult to Amethi and a betrayal with its people."
During her campaign, Irani had exhorted voters to bid adieu to their MP, asking them to give "bidai" (farewell) to the "naamdar" and send a "kamal" (lotus- BJP poll symbol) to New Delhi from Amethi this time.
She repeatedly cited his "neglect"of his constituency and termed him a "missing MP." At one campaign rally, she said, "The missing MP comes here once in five years when the nomination papers has to be filed. Had it not been mandatory to personally file the papers, he would not have come here (at all)."
On the other hand, Gandhi, during his campaign in Amethi, repeatedly raised the Rafale deal controversy. At a rally, he had exhorted people to ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi what he got in return for benefiting Anil Ambani with Rs 30,000 crore in the fighter jet deal.
Addressing an election rally in his parliamentary constituency here, Rahul said, "When the prime minister comes and makes false claims, just ask him why he gave Rs 30,000 crores to Ambani and what Ambani did for him in return."
Gandhi also spoke about several other issues, including the Congress' NYAY promise and hardships due to the implementation of GST.
"Prime Minister imposed Gabbar Singh Tax (GST) and the money that was taken from your pocket went to those thieves abroad. The moment money went out of your pocket, you stopped purchasing and the factories closed down leading to unemployment," he said.
"Twenty-seven thousand youths lose their jobs every 24 hours," he claimed, adding "this is the work of the chowkidar".
With inputs from PTI
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