The competition heats up 2024: Priyanka Gandhi campaign creates a virtual showdown between the Gandhis and Irani in Amethi.

The competition heats up: Priyanka Gandhi
The competition heats up: Priyanka Gandhi

The competition heats up Priyanka Gandhi:

Priyanka Gandhi: The elections in Amethi are like a suspenseful movie, with BJP’s well-known Smriti Irani and Congress’s lesser-known Kishori Lal Sharma in a tight race that’s hard to predict.

The expected ending has become an exciting nail-biter because of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s energetic campaign for the Congress, which could bring unexpected changes in the intense election battle.

Priyanka Gandhi: Smriti Irani in 2019

in 2019, Smriti Irani, though from the BJP, was seen as an outsider when she defeated former Congress president Rahul Gandhi in his stronghold of Amethi. Now, five years later, Rahul Gandhi has shifted to Rae Bareli, and a close aide from the Gandhi family, Kishori Lal Sharma, is challenging Irani’s popularity as the BJP MP. It seems like an easy win for Irani, but it’s not as simple as it looks.

In this constituency, where no member of the Gandhi family is contesting for the first time in 25 years, people are talking about the Ram temple, Modi’s influence, Priyanka Gandhi’s involvement, and their everyday struggles.

Ahmed Maqsood, who owns a tailoring shop in the Wahabganj market in Jais on the outskirts of Amethi town, said, “If Rahul Gandhi were here, things would be different. This election is unusually quiet. People aren’t revealing who they support and why, but this area has always been loyal to the Gandhi family.”

In the last 500 years, there has been a lot of struggles for the construction of the Ram temple. We support the BJP because of the temple. The candidate doesn’t matter; this is a national election,” said Amarnath Sharma, who was wearing a scarf with “Jai Shri Ram” written on it, in the town’s main market.’

Irani and Sharma are competing in the election, but all eyes are on Priyanka Gandhi as she leads the Congress’s campaign in her family’s stronghold, which was lost last time.

Priyanka Gandhi has criticized Irani for focusing on defeating Rahul Gandhi instead of working for the area’s development and the people.

The drama and suspense around the Amethi battle started early. Although Irani was named in the BJP’s candidate list for the Lok Sabha polls, people were curious about whether Rahul Gandhi would contest from Amethi again.

The Congress kept everyone waiting until the last moment and announced Sharma’s candidacy only a few hours before the deadline for filing nominations ended.

Sharma’s long history as an MP representative for the Gandhis and his 40 years of work in the area have given him a good reputation. Initially, people were surprised by the sudden announcement, but Priyanka Gandhi’s campaign in Rae Bareli, aiming to win back the constituency lost in 2019, quickly grabbed attention.

While it’s not a direct contest between Irani and Rahul Gandhi, it’s shaping up to be a significant election battle. Many are describing it as a “quiet election,” with voters expected to express their views on June 4. Even though a Gandhi family member isn’t running, their influence is still felt, and Sharma emphasizes in his speeches that he will represent the constituency on their behalf.

Sharma has repeatedly stated that if elected, he will work as an MP and safeguard the trust of the Gandhi family. He believes that his victory would also be a victory for the Gandhi family, highlighting the longstanding bond between the Nehru-Gandhi family and the people, dating back to Jawaharlal Nehru’s visit to the area in 1921.

Priyanka Gandhi is at the center of attention, serving as a strategist, speaker, and organizer as she leads the campaign in Amethi and nearby Rae Bareli to increase her party’s chances of winning both seats.

Various factors, including the familial connection of the Gandhis with the voters, sentiments about the Ram temple, the influence of Modi, government schemes like free ration and housing for the poor, concerns about stray cattle, and the Congress’ claims about the BJP’s intentions regarding the Constitution, are all part of the election discussions.

A group of people sitting at a shop in a market in Amethi discussed the significance of the Ram temple construction, considering it a major achievement of Modi. Devinder Singh, a shop owner in the market, mentioned that the temple construction is important to the people, and their votes will be based on this issue. In the Tiloi assembly segment near Amethi town, Amitabh Singh agreed, stating that this election is about correcting the “mistake” of last time, and it is the Gandhi family that has given the seat its identity.

Singh noted that Sharma has experience and has served for years, and Priyanka Gandhi’s energetic campaign is likely to help him win despite a close contest. He mentioned that Rahul Gandhi trailed in Tiloi in 2019.

One of the main concerns raised by the locals in this mostly rural constituency is the issue of stray cattle and the government’s neglect of the problem. Kamlesh Yadav, from Shahgarh village, highlighted how stray cattle destroy their produce, making it difficult for them to feed their families. Many locals feel that although the government provides 5 kg of free ration, it is not enough to sustain them, especially when their produce is damaged by stray cattle.

However, some government schemes have made a positive impact and garnered support for the BJP. In an area dominated by the Pasis, a Scheduled Caste community, many people appreciate the government’s efforts in providing them with “pucca houses.”

We will vote for the BJP. We are getting rations and have gotten a pucca house, what else do I need. Modi ji is my choice,” says Lal Chand Pasi.

However, some members of the SC and OBC community are worried about reservations and the Congress’ accusation against the BJP of aiming for “Above 400,” suggesting a desire to change the Constitution.

According to Pawan Yadav, a shopkeeper, “This election is about protecting our Constitution and our rights.”

Many people are hesitant to share their preferences, and there’s talk of an undercurrent that could influence the election outcome. However, most agree that the competition is intense and too close to call. Abdul Quddus, a tea shop owner, believes that the BJP MP, being in power, has an advantage, but the vigorous campaigns by Priyanka Gandhi and Kishori Lal Sharma have made the race very tight.

Quddus concluded, “The election could go either way.”

In the 2019 elections, Irani defeated Rahul Gandhi by over 55,000 votes in Amethi, which includes the five assembly constituencies of Tiloi, Salon, Jagdishpur, Gauriganj, and Amethi.

Voting for the Amethi and Rae Bareli constituencies will be held on May 20, and the votes will be counted on June 4, along with the rest of the country.

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