With Congress’ Walkover To Smriti Irani, Has Gandhi Family Given Up On Amethi?

The much-anticipated contest in Amethi has proved to be a no-show for the Congress as the Gandhi family has seemingly given a walkover to Union Minister Smriti Irani.
Congress has finally announced its candidate from Amethi and it's not Rahul Gandhi

Congress has finally announced its candidate from Amethi and it's not Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi: The Congress’ first family seems to have given up on Amethi. A lightweight candidate, KL Sharma, has been fielded from the Lok Sabha seat which has remained with the Gandhis for the past several decades.
The much-anticipated contest has proved to be a no-show for the Congress as the Gandhi family has seemingly given a walkover to its arch-rival Smriti Irani, a move which Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will leverage in this and elections to come against Gandhis.
This is also completely opposite to what the BJP does in case of high-profile contests. The top leadership believes in giving no walkovers whatsoever irrespective of the outcome.
No matter how strong an Opposition candidate is, the BJP fields its strongest leader against them. One objective is to restrict the Opposition top netas to their constituency.
The saffron party often uses such electoral battles to sharpen the skills of its leaders and cadres, while giving a tough contest to its opponents.
The finest example of this strategy came when the party decided to continue backing Irani, despite her loss to Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Irani, continued to be a Cabinet minister in the Union government, while at the same time working on the ground chipping away at the support base of the Gandhis.
This persistence, and BJP’s policy of not giving walkovers to its opponents, paid in 2019 when Irani was able to secure Amethi for the saffron alliance.
The Congress seems to be faltering in its political strategy by not fielding Rahul from the Amethi constituency. This further enforces a perception that he isn’t facing Irani deliberately and has given up on the erstwhile bastion. This has raised a serious question: If Rahul can’t contest against Irani, how can he be considered an option in front of incumbent Narendra Modi?
There is a genuine sense of despair amongst the Congress camp in Amethi and the question is why be in politics if you are so afraid of risks?
The delay in announcing the candidates has also shown indecisiveness and weakness on the part of Congress leadership. This despite the fact that the BJP candidate’s name was declared way ahead of the contest schedule.
Instead of fighting from Rae Bareli, in what is being seen as a face-saving move, Rahul should have entered the contest against Irani and tried to reclaim the family bastion.
A look at some fierce electoral battles initiated by BJP and ensuring opposition candidates won't have smooth contest or walkover:
  • Pragya Thakur defeated Digvijaya Singh from Bhopal in 2019
  • Union Minister SPS Baghel contested against Akhilesh Yadav and lost in 2019
  • In Bengal assembly elections, BJP threw all its might behind Suvendu Adhikari who was fielded against CM Mamata Banerjee.
  • Telangana former CM KCR was defeated BJP candidate Kamareddy Katipally Venkataramana Reddy.
Amethi, a Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, will go to polls on May 20. The counting of votes will be done on June 4.
End of Article
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