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Congress pushes for Rahul’s win in Amethi

Congress pushes for Rahul’s win in Amethi
April 23
05:46 2019

By Amit Agnihotri

New Delhi, April 23: Faced with an aggressive BJP, Congress managers in Amethi are leaving no stone unturned to ensure a decent victory margin for party chief Rahul Gandhi.

The problem stems from the 2014 national polls when the BJP fielded Smriti Irani against Rahul in Amethi. The newcomer gave a tough time to Rahul, then Congress vice president, and was able to reduce victory margin from 3.7 lakh in 2009 to just over a lakh votes.

That was eyeopener for the Congress managers who went into an overdrive recently to maintain the edge that Rahul had. Accordingly, a micro level plan going to “purva” or village cluster level teams was out in place and frequent monitoring through the online application Shakti launched.

Shakti is an online platform which tracks the performance of the booth-level teams across the country. However, a special effort has been put in by designated party coordinators in Amethi where Rahul is being projected as the prime ministerial nominee of the party.

Besides toning up the party’s systems, including administration of a pledge to the workers to ensure a 5 lakh vote victory margin, sources said that influential leaders from the so-called rivals Samajwadi Party are also being roped in.

The SP-BSP combination chose to drop the Congress for the national polls but Akhilesh Yadav’s party had a pre-poll alliance with the grand old party for the 2017 assembly polls and the bonhomie has still not dried up.

Sources said senior UP Congress leader Pramod Tiwari has of late had several parleys with the local leaders from SP-BSP to support Rahul while urging party workers to work unitedly for the goal.

Rahul had defeated BSP’s Asheesh Shukla in 2009 by 3.7 lakh votes. In comparison Irani had polled 3 lakh votes against Rahul’s 4.08 lakh in 2014. The gap could further narrow down, said the sources, explaining the concern within the Congress camp.

Emboldened by her 2014 show, despite the poll loss, Irani has been visiting Amethi regularly since then trying hard to make further inroads into the prestigious seat where many still see her as an “outsider”.

“Amethi is like second home to the Gandhis. We will ensure a high victory margin for Rahulji,” Congress MLC Deepak Singh said.

The BJP has made no bones about its plans to push the Congress chief against the wall. This was indicated by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath accompanying Irani during a roadshow when she recently filed her nomination from Amethi.

More top BJP leaders are expected to visit the constituency in the run up to the May 6th polling. As Rahul campaigns across the country, his sister and senior party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has already started hitting back at Irani and the verbal duel is set to become shriller.


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