Amethi Lok Sabha Election 2019: Rahul Gandhi loses to Smriti Irani by over 50,000 votes
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The Congress stonghold, Amethi, is now the seat of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Rahul Gandhi, the Congress party president, lagged far behind the BJP candidate, Smriti Irani.
The face off between the two candidates in 2014 was a win for Gandhi, but Irani managed to cut his vote count down by 12%. The tables turned out this time around with Irani leading over Gandhi over over 50,000 votes. The Gandhi legacy was undercut by a difference of 6% in vote share.
Gandhi conceded defeat during a press conference he held after vote counting yesterday.
Since Amethi was formed, non-Congress parties have only ever come into power twice.
According to India Today-My Axis exit polls, Congress’ individual position wasn't as bright as compared to a Congress-led alliance coming into power. And, even that ‘popularity’ was only at a three percent margin as compared to BJP.
It helps both parties that the Mahagathbandhan between the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) didn’t field their own candidate in Amethi.
Gandhi has been called out for being missing in action, even failing to show up on the day of polling. Irani has been building on the ‘missing MP’ momentum by ensuring that her visibility poses a considerable challenge to Gandhi’s campaigning efforts.
BJP President, Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath have been backing her efforts with appearances at public rallies in Amethi.
During the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Irani may not have won but she had a severe impact on Gandhi’s margin of victory — by as much as 12%. Gandhi came out on top but only with the lowest vote share ever recorded by a Congress candidate in Amethi.
Congress and Uttar Pradesh
BJP already took Amethi out from under Congress during the Assembly Elections in 2017, winning four out of the five seats up for grabs. And, even Gauriganj — where BJP lost — did not go to Congress, but to SP.
The current situation in Amethi is a far cry from the days of Rajiv Gandhi — Rahul Gandhi’s father — when it was difficult for BJP to even have a party office in the constituency, let alone fly the party flag.
The chances of winning in any constituency in Uttar Pradesh look rosier for Sonia Gandhi — member of Congress and Rahul Gandhi’s mother — who’s contesting the Lok Sabha Election from Raebarelli.
And, as for Rahul Gandhi, his chances of winning in Wayanad, Kerala are more likely than in Amethi.