Amethi to not have contender from Gandhi family for first time in 25 years

12:02 PM May 03, 2024 | PTI |

Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi has long been synonymous with the Gandhis and it would be the first time in 25 years that a Gandhi family member will not be contesting election from the Lok Sabha seat.


Considered a citadel of the Gandhi family since its creation as a constituency in 1967, Amethi has been represented by a Gandhi family member for about 31 years since then.

The Congress fortress was breached in the last general election in 2019 when BJP’s Smriti Irani beat Rahul Gandhi by more than 55,000 votes.

This time, Rahul Gandhi will contest the Lok Sabha election from the Rae Bareli seat, while Kishori Lal Sharma, a close aide of the Gandhi family, has been fielded from the Amethi Lok Sabha seat.

Sharma was the key person who looked after the two prestigious constituencies on behalf of the Gandhis.


The last time a non-Gandhi was in the fray from the constituency was in 1998, when Satish Sharma, a close aide of Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, contested the polls but lost to the BJP’s Sanjaya Sinh.

Sonia Gandhi reclaimed the seat in 1999 routing Singh by over 3 lakh votes.

In 2004, Sonia shifted to the adjacent Rae Bareli constituency to make way for her son Rahul Gandhi.

Rahul won the constituency for three consecutive terms in 2004, 2009 and 2014.

Contesting for the fourth time in 2019, he lost to Smriti Irani, who hit the headlines as a ‘giant killer’.

Amethi is one of the 80 parliamentary seats in Uttar Pradesh and comprises five assembly segments — Tiloi, Salon, Jagdishpur, Gauriganj, and Amethi.

Over the past few years, the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party, and the Bahujan Samaj Party have emerged as the three main players in the constituency.

Its first Member of Parliament was Vidya Dhar Bajpai of the Congress who was elected in 1967 and held the seat in the next election in 1971.

In the 1977 election, Ravindra Pratap Singh of the Janata Party became an MP from the seat defeating former prime minister Indira Gandhi’s younger son Sanjay Gandhi.

Sanjay Gandhi had his electoral revenge three years later when he defeated Singh in the 1980 general election.

Later that year, Sanjay Gandhi died in a plane crash and the seat fell vacant. In the consequent by-election held in 1981, Sanjay’s brother Rajiv Gandhi scored a landslide victory from the seat, defeating his closest rival by more than 2 lakh votes.

Rajiv Gandhi went on to represent this constituency until 1991 when he was assassinated by the militant group LTTE.

The subsequent by-election held the same year was won by Satish Sharma, a close aide of Rajiv Gandhi and later Sonia Gandhi.

Sharma was re-elected in 1996 but lost to BJP’s Sanjaya Sinh in 1998.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, Irani won the Amethi seat with a margin of over 55,000 votes, polling 4,68,514 votes. Rahul Gandhi got 4,13,394 votes.

In 2014, Rahul Gandhi won the Amethi seat for the third time in a row, polling 4,08,651 votes to Irani’s 3,00,748 votes.

BSP candidate Dharmendra Pratap Singh came third with 57,716 votes and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Dr Kumar Vishwas was in fourth position with 25,527 votes.

The Amethi and Rae Bareli seats will go to polls on May 20 in the fifth of the seven-phase general election.

Ending days of suspense, the party announced the candidates from the two seats early Friday.

Deliberations had been on in the party since Thursday over the names of the contenders for the two seats.

The BJP had on Thursday announced Dinesh Pratap Singh as its candidate from Rae Bareli. He had lost to Sonia Gandhi in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.


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