UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has retained her hold on Gandhi bastion Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh for the fifth consecutive term, after having first won the election to the constituency in 2004. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Sonia Gandhi contested against Dinesh Pratap Singh who recently jumped ship from Congress to the BJP. The SP-BSP-RLD ‘gathbandhan’, meanwhile, had not fielded any candidate from either of the Gandhi bastions- Rae Bareli and Amethi.
Sonia Gandhi retained the Lok Sabha seat but saw her victory-margin being halved as compared to five years earlier, winning by 1.67 lakh votes.
The seat was previously held by Sonia Gandhi’s mother-in-law and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, from 1967 to 1977. Sonia Gandhi became an official member of the Congress party in 1997, over six years after her husband and former PM Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. She then contested her first ever election in 1999 from Karnataka's Ballari and Uttar Pradesh's Amethi, another Gandhi bastion. While she won from both the seats, she chose Amethi to represent in the Parliament. In the election following that, in 2004, Sonia Gandhi moved on to contest from the Rae Bareli constituency, vacating Amethi for her son Rahul Gandhi's electoral debut.
Parliamentary elections 2014
Sonia Gandhi had an ascending graph of her victory-margin since 2004. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections the UPA chairperson won the seat by a margin of more than 4.53 lakh beating BJP's Ajay Agrawal and managed to improved her margin despite a Modi wave across the country. In 2009 she won by a margin of 3.72 lakh votes. The Rae Bareli seat has been held by the BJP only for two terms consecutively from 1996 to 1999, in contrast to Congress which held the seat for 16 terms from 1952 until 2019.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi embarked on a roadshow before filing nomination papers for Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituency. She also offered puja at the Congress' central office in the constituency prior to the roadshow.Sonia Gandhi, who trying to get re-elected from the seat the fifth time in a row, was accompanied by son and Congress president Rahul Gandhi, daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and son-in-law Robert Vadra.