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As Rahul Files Nomination from Amethi, Here’s How the Constituency Has Voted for Cong Over the Years

The Congress has managed to hold onto the Western UP district in the nine elections since 1980, except for its defeat in the 1998 polls. This time around, however, saffron party's Smriti Irani is likely to give Rahul Gandhi a tough fight for the seat.

Akash Gulankar | News18.com

Updated:April 11, 2019, 7:21 AM IST
As Rahul Files Nomination from Amethi, Here’s How the Constituency Has Voted for Cong Over the Years
The posters were seen in the UP constituency before Rahul Gandhi's campaign visit in January.

New Delhi: The Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday filed his nomination from Uttar Pradesh's Amethi constituency, a Congress bastion for many years now. Gandhi, who held a mega road show, was flanked by his sister and party’s eastern UP in-charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, brother-in-law Robert Vadra and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. He will be contesting against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Smriti Irani who lost to him in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

An analysis of the voting pattern in Amethi from 1980 to 2014 shows that electors have consistently sworn by the grand old party.

Since 1980, Congress’ average winning margin has been 36.1 per cent. During these ten Lok Sabha elections, the BJP has remained a major opponent of the Congress in Amethi.

The Congress has managed to hold onto Amethi in the nine elections, barring the 1998 polls when BJP’s Sanjay Singh defeated Satish Sharma of the Congress by 23,270 votes. Singh had won by a close margin of 3.9 per cent votes. A year later, in 1999, Sonia Gandhi won back the traditional seat from Singh when she chose to contest from Amethi. The Congress stalwart defeated Singh by a huge margin of 47 per cent, a total of 3,000,12 votes.

A few years later, she was succeeded by her son, Rahul Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi has been contesting from the constituency for the last three elections. In 2009, he won against Asheesh Shukla of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) by a staggering margin of 57.2 per cent votes. In 2004, Chandra Prakash Mishra Matiyari of BSP was defeated by Rahul Gandhi with a margin of 49.3 per cent.

In 2014, BJP fielded Smriti Irani to take on Rahul Gandhi. She lost to Rahul Gandhi by a vote margin of 12.3 per cent. Despite her defeat, Irani made a number of visits to the constituency over the last five years. She is likely to give a tough fight to the Congress president this time around. The figures from the last election also reinforces the speculation that the vote share difference between Gandhi and Irani was just 1,07,903.

Before Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, it was Rajiv Gandhi who had held the seat from Amethi for three consecutive terms. Rajiv Gandhi had first contested from the constituency following Indira Gandhi's assassination in 1984. He won with an unprecedented margin of 70.6 per cent of votes and became the Prime Minister of India. Following this, he went on to win the seat twice in 1989 and 1991 with a respective winning margin of 47.5 and 29.8 per cent. He defeated Ravindra Pratap Singh of BJP in 1991 and Raj Mohan Gandhi of Janata Dal in 1989.

It was another scion of the Gandhi family, Sanjay Gandhi, who had held the office as an MP from Amethi in 1980 even before Rajiv Gandhi’s electoral foray. At the time, Sanjay Gandhi secured a victory by defeating Janata Party’s Ravindra Pratap.

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| Edited by: Angana Chakrabarti
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