Rahul Gandhi Shifts Political Focus to Rae Bareli, Sparking Debate

Khushbu Kumari Jha
Rahul Gandhi Shifts Political Focus to Rae Bareli Sparking Debate
Rahul Gandhi Shifts Political Focus to Rae Bareli Sparking Debate

Explore the strategic electoral shift as Rahul Gandhi contests from Rae Bareli instead of Amethi, sparking debate and scrutiny. Delve into the “17 percent factor” shaping voting patterns.

Rahul Gandhi's decision to contest the elections from Rae Bareli instead of Amethi, the last stronghold of Congress in Uttar Pradesh, has stirred up political discourse. Gandhi, expressing emotions during his nomination from Rae Bareli, has faced scrutiny from the BJP for abandoning Amethi. The move has triggered a war of words between the two parties, with Congress defending its decision as strategically calculated while BJP taunts Gandhi with potential defeat.

The emotional attachment of the Gandhi family to Rae Bareli, historically a bastion of Congress, has influenced the decision. The risk of defeat is perceived to be lower in Rae Bareli compared to Amethi, further influencing the strategic move.

A significant aspect of this electoral maneuver is the "17 percent factor." This refers to the notable shift in voting patterns witnessed over the past elections. In 2009, Sonia Gandhi secured 72.23 percent of the votes, with BJP trailing at 3.82 percent. However, by 2019, Sonia Gandhi's vote share had decreased to 55.78 percent, while BJP's increased to 38.35 percent. The narrowing gap between the two parties, reduced to just 17.43 percent, reflects BJP's steady increase in votes by approximately 17 percent over successive elections, raising concerns for Congress.

The electoral landscape of Rae Bareli sees a shift from the traditional contest between Rahul Gandhi and Smriti Irani in Amethi. The seat was won by Smriti Irani in 2019, leading to Gandhi's decision to contest from Rae Bareli. Meanwhile, Amethi will witness a battle between KL Sharma, a close associate of the Gandhi family, and Smriti Irani. With both parties claiming victory in their respective strongholds, the upcoming elections on June 4 will determine the political dominance in Rae Bareli and Amethi.