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LS polls: Rahul Gandhi to contest from Rae Bareli; KL Sharma from Amethi

While Rahul Gandhi will be contesting against BJP's Dinesh Pratap Singh for the Bareli seat, KL Sharma will be up against Smriti Irani in Amethi

Rahul Gandhi,rahul,congress leader

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses the 'Samajik Nyay Sammelan' at Jawahar Bhavan, in New Delhi, Wednesday, April 24, 2024. (Photo: PTI)

Abhijeet Kumar New Delhi

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After weeks of deliberations and speculations, the Congress announced on Friday that Rahul Gandhi would be its candidate from the traditional Gandhi family stronghold of Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh. 

From the Amethi seat, the Congress has given a ticket to Kishori Lal Sharma, a long-standing representative of the Nehru-Gandhi family for over two decades, where he will face BJP's Smriti Irani.

On Thursday, the BJP declared Uttar Pradesh minister Dinesh Pratap Singh its candidate from Rae Bareli.


Both Congress candidates are set to submit their nomination papers today, the deadline for nominations for the fifth phase of the elections. The fifth phase of voting is scheduled for May 20.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi defeated Smriti Irani by nearly 1 lakh votes for the Amethi seat. However, in the subsequent elections in 2019, Irani defeated Gandhi by a margin of 55,120 votes. 

The latest electoral move by Congress follows discussions reportedly held between Rahul Gandhi and Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge during their joint participation in a campaign rally in Karnataka. 

Amidst speculation that Priyanka Gandhi was hesitant to contest the Lok Sabha elections, Rahul apparently agreed to contest from Rae Bareli, a constituency represented by his mother, Sonia Gandhi, since 2004.

Throughout history, the Congress has only lost Amethi and Rae Bareli on three occasions. The party lost Rae Bareli for the first time in 1977 when Indira Gandhi famously lost to Raj Narain in the post-emergency elections. The seat was lost again in 1996 and 1998 but has remained with the Congress since then. Similarly, the Congress lost Amethi in 1977, 1998, and 2019.

Rahul Gandhi's three-way fight in Wayanad

Rahul Gandhi is also seeking re-election from Wayanad in Kerala, where he is up against Communist Party of India senior leader Annie Raja. The BJP, leaving no stone unturned to establish its complete dominance in the 2024 elections, has fielded Kerala State President K Surendran as a National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate from the constituency.

Who else has contested more than one seat in the past?

There's a long history of candidates contesting multiple seats. In 1957, former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee contested from three seats in Uttar Pradesh—Mathura, Lucknow, and Balrampur—winning Balrampur on the Jana Sangh ticket.

In 1999, Sonia Gandhi contested Lok Sabha elections from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh and Bellary in Karnataka, winning both. In Bellary, Sonia Gandhi defeated BJP's Sushma Swaraj. She later represented Amethi in the Parliament.

In the 2024 Odisha Assembly polls, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik has filed nominations from two seats. His father, Biju Patnaik, contested four Assembly and one LS seat in 1971. 

In 1989, former deputy PM Devi Lal contested from three seats in three states, winning from two. 

In 1991, Bahujan Samaj Party's Mayawati contested from three seats, losing all. This list includes other significant leaders like Indira Gandhi, L K Advani, Lalu Prasad, Sonia Gandhi, PM Narendra Modi, and Rahul Gandhi.

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First Published: May 03 2024 | 9:01 AM IST

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