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Lok Sabha Election Results 2019: As Counting Winds Down, Rahul Gandhi Concedes Amethi Fight to Smriti Irani

Lok Sabha Election Results 2019: As Counting Winds Down, Rahul Gandhi Concedes Amethi Fight to Smriti Irani

As Rahul Gandhi and Smriti Irani battle it out in Amethi, the results could be the biggest shocker in Lok Sabha 2019.

Amethi Lok Sabha Results 2019: Even before the final results were revealed, Congress president Rahul Gandhi conceded defeat in a press conference in New Delhi, as he congratulated BJP's Smriti Irani for her "victory" from Amethi, his constituency in Uttar Pradesh since 2004. As the Lok Sabha election results pour in, the constituency is witnessing a see-saw battle between the Gandhi scion and Union textile minister Smriti Irani.

In a nail-biting contest, Irani is leading by nearly 38,000 votes. So far, Gandhi has received 2,76,713 votes, while the Union minister has won 3,15,058 votes. If Irani manages to defeat the Congress president, this could mean that the grand old party will be limited to just one seat in the state of Uttar Pradesh -- Rae Bereli, which is represented by his mother Sonia Gandhi.

Amethi, largely a rural constituency around 130 km from UP capital Lucknow, features one of the most watched battles in this national election.

Smriti Irani campaigned aggressively in Amethi, where she had contested and lost to Rahul Gandhi in 2014 but had managed to reduce his winning margin to one lakh. She kept visiting the constituency regularly and launched central schemes there.

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What Gives Smriti Irani an Edge Over Rahul Gandhi in Amethi

Apart from his old bastion, Rahul Gandhi is also contesting from Wayanad in Kerala this time. Divided between the two constituencies and his various campaigns across the country, Gandhi has been away from Amethi. Irani has used his absence to capitalise in the region and also accused Gandhi of neglecting his constituency.

Earlier this month, Rahul Gandhi had called off his visit to Amethi, inviting bashing from Irani, who said that the Congress president had become too 'proudy'.

Gandhi, seeking re-election for the fourth time was conspicuously absent from the constituency, which went to vote on May 6. Even on the day of polling, Gandhi was holding a rally in Haryana's Bhiwani.

Irani, seeking to wrest power from the Gandhi scion, registered an active presence in the constituency, making gains at the cost of the "missing MP"i.

The SP-BSP alliance in the state did not field any candidate from Amethi.

Congress Presence in Amethi

During his election campaign, the Congress president visited Amethi six times. His sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also campaigned in the constituency.

A Congress stronghold, Amethi has remained with the Gandhi family for decades. The Congress has not lost the seat in the last three decades, except in 1998.

In the politically critical state of Uttar Pradesh, where the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party had posed a stiff challenge, the BJP was leading in 59 of the 80 seats at stake. The SP was ahead in seven and BSP in 13. The Congress Party was ahead only in one.