While Congress president Rahul Gandhi is set to file his nomination for the Lok Sabha election 2019 from the Congress bastion in Amethi on April 10, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will file her nomination from Rae Bareli a day later.
Rahul Gandhi, who has represented the constituency for over 15 years, will face Smriti Irani of the BJP in the election which will be held on May 6. He had narrowly defeated her, by a 4:3 vote margin in 2014. The Congress party president will also hold a roadshow in Gauriganj town - the administrative headquarters of Amethi - the same day, said Congress district unit spokesperson Anil Singh.
In Election 2019, Rahul Gandhi is contesting from the second seat in Kerala's Wayanad, apart from Amethi. He filed his nomination from the seat on April 4, after taking out a massive roadshow. Among other things, the constituency also caught eyeballs because of a poster welcoming 'young and educated Prime Minister candidate' and calling him 'Rahul bro'.
The UPA president, Sonia Gandhi, who has been representing the Rae Bareli seat since 2004, will contest against Dinesh Pratap Singh, who had recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party after leaving the Congress.
The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party have not fielded any candidates in the Congress bastions.
Rae Bareli is a bastion of the Congress party in the same way as Amethi is. Since 1957, the Congress has won the seat 19 times, including three by-elections, and lost the seat only three times -1977, 1996 and 1998. In 1977, after Emergency, Bharatiya Lok Dal's Raj Narain had defeated the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In 1996 and 1998, BJP candidate Ashok Kumar Singh won the seat.
While Rahul Gandhi has been targeted by Smriti Irani who has called him an 'absentee candidate' in Amethi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has accused PM Modi of destroying the institutions of the nation in five years of his party's rule.
Rae Bareli also goes to polls on May 6 in the fifth phase of the general election.