Updated May 3rd, 2024 at 12:49 IST

Daro Mat, Bhaago Mat: PM Modi Sharpens Attack on Rahul For Chickening Out of Amethi

Amethi has long been synonymous with Gandhis & it would be the first time in 25 years that a Gandhi family member will not be contesting polls from the LS seat.

Reported by: Digital Desk
PM Modi Sharpens Attack on Rahul | Image:Republic Digital
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New Delhi: After Rahul Gandhi opted for Rae Bareli, seemingly a more secure seat than Amethi where he faced defeat to Union minister Smriti Irani in 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sharpened his attack on the Wayanad MP. The Prime Minister used Gandhi's own phrase, "Daro Mat" (don't be afraid), to ridicule him. For the unversed, Gandhi had frequently used the phrase 'Daro Mat' to accuse the BJP government of using investigative agencies to intimidate opposition leaders.  

“I had already said in the Parliament that their (Congress) biggest leader will not dare to fight elections and she will run away. She ran away to Rajasthan and came to the Rajya Sabha... I had already said that the Shehzada was going to lose in Wayanad. I had said that as soon as the polling was completed in Wayanad, he would start looking for another seat... He is so scared of Amethi that he is running towards Raebareli. They ask everyone 'Daro Mat'. Today, I also ask them, 'Daro Mat, Bhago Mat'...”, PM Modi said while addressing a rally in Bardhaman-Durgapur, West Bengal. 

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Gandhis Abandon Amethi

Amethi has indeed been deeply associated with the Gandhi family, serving as a stronghold for them in Indian politics for decades. This upcoming election marks a significant shift as it will be the first time in 25 years that a member of the Gandhi family won't be contesting from the Lok Sabha seat there. The Congress stronghold faced a notable defeat in the 2019 general elections when BJP's Smriti Irani secured victory over Rahul Gandhi by a considerable margin.

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This time Rahul Gandhi has opted to contest from the safe seat of Rae Bareli, while Kishori Lal Sharma, a trusted aide of the Gandhi family, is set to run for the Amethi Lok Sabha seat. Sharma has been a pivotal figure in managing these prestigious constituencies on behalf of the Gandhis.

It's worth noting that the last instance of a non-Gandhi candidate contesting from Amethi was in 1998 when Satish Sharma, a close associate of Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, ran in the polls but was defeated by the BJP's Sanjaya Sinh. However, Sonia Gandhi reclaimed the seat in 1999 with a significant victory margin.

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Following this, Sonia shifted her focus to the neighbouring Rae Bareli constituency in 2004, paving the way for her son Rahul Gandhi to contest from Amethi, where he secured victory for three consecutive terms until his defeat to Smriti Irani in 2019, making headlines as a 'giant killer'. Amethi comprises five assembly segments. The constituencies of Amethi and Rae Bareli are scheduled to go to polls on May  20. 

‘Vote Bank Above Humanity For TMC

PM Modi also lambasted the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC over the Sandeshkhali unrest, saying, “I want to ask TMC, in Sandeshkhali our Dalit sisters were served huge injustice. The whole country was demanding action. The TMC saw shielding the culprit. Was the reason that the name of the culprit was Shahjahan Sheikh?... The TMC is busy with appeasement. Can a vote bank be above humanity?...”

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Published May 3rd, 2024 at 12:19 IST