Rahul Gandhi concedes Amethi — and India — to the BJP

Rahul Gandhi, Congress party president, address the media after Lok Sabha Election vote count on Wednesday


Rahul Gandhi, the president of the Congress party, conceded defeat to the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party in a press conference on Wednesday evening. He even conceded defeat to Smriti Irani after the vote count shows her commanding the lead in Amethi, a Congress stronghold since its formation.

The saffron party is racing ahead with a lead in over 340 seats, it looks as though even an alliance won’t be enough to give Congress the majority.

Gandhi congratulated Modi on his win and thanked all Congress workers for their contribution towards the party’s campaigning efforts.

According to him, BJP and Congress have only ideological differences which he believes can be resolved, if both parties choose to cooperate. He ended the post-election press conference with the solemn words, ‘Pyaar kabhi nahi haar ta hai’ (love never loses).

Rahul’s curious case in Amethi

Since Amethi was formed, non-Congress parties have only ever come into power twice.

It’s also one of two constituencies from where Congress President, Rahul Gandhi, has decided to contest the Lok Sabha election this year.

Gandhi was 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.


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