Though he was defeated on home turf Amethi to BJP’s Smriti Irani, Congress President Rahul Gandhi will again contest from the seat in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, a party leader said.
The Congress leader, requesting anonymity, said that Gandhi will never leave Amethi.
“He has done a lot of work in Amethi and will continue to do that. And in 2024, he shall return there to contest again.”
Gandhi, who was contesting from Amethi for the fourth time, on Thursday lost to Irani by a margin of over 55,000 votes. However, he won from Kerala’s Wayanad by a record margin.
The Congress leader pointed out that late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s sons Sanjay Gandhi and then late former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had carried a lot of work in Amethi.
“People still recall the works done by the Gandhi family in the area,” he said, adding that there is no way the family would leave the seat. About the party’s dismal performance in Amethi, the leader said that win or loss is part of the game. “But we are definitely going to put a tough fight in 2024.”
The Congress has lost the seat of Amethi thrice since 1967. The Congress has won the seat of Amethi from 1967. In 1977 general elections, Sanjay Gandhi lost to the Janata Party candidate but won it back in 1980. After his death in a plane crash in 1981, Rajiv Gandhi won in the by-elections later in the year and retained the seat in 1984 and 1989 elections.
After Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in 1991, the seat was won by Captain Satish Sharma, a close friend of Gandhi family. He retained the seat in 1996 but lost to BJP’s Sanjay Singh in 1998. Sonia Gandhi, after entering active politics, won the seat in 1999. However, to make way for Rahul Gandhi in 2004, she shifted to the neighbouring seat of Rae Bareli. Before losing in 2019 general elections to Irani by 55,000 votes, Rahul Gandhi had won from Amethi in 2004, 2009 and 2014.