Updated May 5th, 2024 at 11:46 IST

Who's KL Sharma, Congress' Amethi Pick Chosen Over Rahul Gandhi?

The Congress, on Friday, fielded senior leader KL Sharma against BJP heavyweight and incumbent MP from Amethi Smriti Irani.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Edited by: Radhika Dhawad
Who's KL Sharma, Congress' Amethi Pick Chosen Over Rahul Gandhi? | Image:Republic
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New Delhi: Putting an end to the much-speculated Amethi conundrum for the Lok Sabha seat, the Congress, on Friday morning, fielded senior leader KL Sharma against BJP heavyweight and incumbent MP from Amethi, Smriti Irani

Close aide of Gandhi family

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Kishori Lal Sharma, primarily known as KL Sharma, has been the representative of Congress leader Sonia Gandhi for a long. Sharma, who's been a loyalist of the Congress party since 1983, hails from Punjab's Ludhiana

Sharma is considered to be a close confidant of the Gandhi family, especially Sonia Gandhi. In 2022, criticising the party workers for quitting the party, Sharma, during the Assembly Elections in UP, had hit back saying it was the Congress party that had groomed all the leaders in politics. 

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It was KL Sharma, who spoke to the media on Sonia Gandhi's behalf when the latter issued a letter to the public about her decision to not contest elections from Rae Bareli

Amethi connect since 1991

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Sharma's journey with the Congress began with his association with former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. After Rajiv Gandhi's demise, Sharma also worked with Captain Satish Sharma in Amethi in 1991.

Sharma was associated with Sonia Gandhi as the one in charge of the Amethi constituency that she had contested in 1999. Eventually, Sharma assumed the role of overseeing both the Raebareli and Amethi seats. When Sonia Gandhi vacated the Amethi seat and relocated to Raebareli, Sharma followed suit, relocating alongside her.

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Gandhi siblings unwilling to contest polls

Even though Rahul Gandhi filed the nominations for Raebareli on Friday morning, reports were rife that both the Gandhi siblings - Rahul and Priyanka - were unwilling to contest the Lok Sabha elections either from Amethi or Rae Bareli. Sources said Congress leaders had made great efforts to convince at least one of the siblings to enter into the fray. 

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Rahul Gandhi files nomination from Raebareli 

Congress leader Deepak Singh, on Thursday, had said, “All preparations have been made. Congress party will file the nomination tomorrow at 11 am. People of Amethi want to see Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi as a candidate. We have full faith that the candidature of Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi will be announced today.”

Raebareli Congress' safest seat

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Raebareli is considered one of the safest seats for the Congress. The party has won 17 out of 20 elections so far.  

The Congress has always won Rae Bareli and Amethi from 1999 to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. However, in 2019, Rahul Gandhi lost Amethi to Smriti Irani

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Despite Sonia Gandhi's stronghold in Rae Bareli, she chose not to run for Lok Sabha in 2024.

The last date for filing nominations for both the seats - Amethi and Rae Bareli - is Friday. Both the high-profile constituencies will go to polling on May 20 in the fifth phase of elections.

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Published May 3rd, 2024 at 16:17 IST