'Will Fight for Amethi in Delhi': Rahul Gandhi Visits Constituency for the First Time after Election Defeat
On his daylong visit to the constituency, Gandhi will meet Congress workers to ascertain the reasons behind the party's defeat with a margin of 55,000 votes.
Rahul Gandhi in Amethi on Wednesday. (Twitter/Rahul Gandhi)
New Delhi: Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday visited Uttar Pradesh's Amethi for the first time since losing the seat to BJP’s Smriti Irani in recent Lok Sabha polls.
Gandhi attributed his defeat to local leaders staying away from the people and assured he will not abandon the constituency, party functionaries said.
"I will not leave Amethi. It is my home and family," former state Youth Congress chief Nadeem Ashraf Jayasi quoted Gandhi as saying at a meeting.
"The development of Amethi will not be hampered. I am the MP from Wayanad, but my ties with Amethi are three decades old. I will fight for Amethi in Delhi," Gandhi reportedly told party workers.
On his daylong visit, Gandhi is also scheduled to meet Congress workers to ascertain the reasons behind the party's defeat with a margin of 55,000 votes. In a crucial meeting of the Congress Sewa Dal in Lucknow on Monday, it was also emphasised that the party's organisational structure be strengthened once again.
"I am very happy to come to Amethi. Amethi feels like coming home," Gandhi said in a tweet shortly after arriving in the constituency.
अमेठी आकर बहुत खुश हूँ। अमेठी आना घर आने जैसा लगता है। pic.twitter.com/B6YW2f7aLg— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 10, 2019
On reaching Amethi, the Congress leader first visited the Gauriganj house of his party's Tiloi assembly in-charge Mata Prasad Vaish to offer condolences over the death of a relative on June 25. Later, he attended the review meeting with party office-bearers at Nirmala Devi Educational Institute in Gauriganj.
District Congress committee member Narendra Mishra said Gandhi appreciated the hard work by party workers. According to him, Gandhi said the workers did a lot during the campaign but local leaders remained away from the people, leading to his defeat.
Many workers said the Congress was weak in the entire district and the party campaign lacked direction, according to the participants. They alleged that some party men worked with the BJP in the constituency. They also unanimously demanded that Gandhi should withdraw his resignation from the party president's post.
The Congress leader had earlier announced his resignation while taking responsibility for the drubbing the party received in the Lok Sabha elections.
In Amethi, Gandhi's representative Chandrakant Dubey and Congress district president Yogendra Mishra have resigned. The meeting with party workers, including booth presidents from five assembly segments — Salon, Amethi, Gauriganj, Jagdishpur and Tiloi — lasted barely 50 minutes.
Gandhi then left for two villages in Chhatoh block on the way to Lucknow, from where he flew back to Delhi.
In a historic poll battle, Irani defeated Gandhi in his bastion by more than 52,000 votes.
Gandhi represented the Amethi Lok Sabha seat since 1999 but lost it to the BJP in this general election. He is currently a Member of Parliament from Wayanad constituency in Kerala.
The Congress had earlier constituted a two-member panel comprising UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s representative KL Sharma and AICC secretary Zubair Khan to analyse the reasons behind the poll debacle. The body suggested that “non-cooperation” by the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party workers at the grassroots level were to be blamed for the poll rout. The SP and the BSP, which had formed an alliance for the Lok Sabha polls, did not field any candidate in Amethi. The local leaders claim that the absence of a BSP candidate contributed to Gandhi's defeat as the BSP’s vote shifted to BJP.
Before Gandhi's arrival, a number of controversial posters, seeking answers over irregularities at the Sanjay Gandhi Hospital, also sprung up in the area. Alleging that the hospital is taking away lives instead of saving them, the posters demanded justice for the aggrieved families and punishment to the culprits. Gandhi is a trustee of the hospital.
(With inputs from PTI)
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