Rahul Gandhi to file nomination in Amethi today
Amethi – Rahul Gandhi, the Congress vice president, is all set to file his nomination today in the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh from where he is seeking re-election for a third consecutive term. Mr Gandhi will be accompanied by his sister, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
The Congress is pulling out all stops to ensure that Mr Gandhi’s nomination today is nothing less than a grand affair. The party’s district unit has made elaborate arrangements, including 500 kgs of flowers, to welcome the 43-year-old in Amethi which votes on May 7, the penultimate phase of the nine-phase general election.
“We will welcome Rahul Gandhi with rose petals. All Congress workers are very excited about his nomination,” said Yogendra Mishra, President of the district Congress.
But Mr Gandhi faces a tough three-cornered contest this time around with the BJP fielding actor-turned-politician and Rajya Sabha MP Smriti Irani from the seat and poet-turned-politician Kumar Vishwas representing the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Both Ms Irani and Mr Vishwas have openly challenged the Congress No. 2 to a debate over development in Amethi, but so far he has refused. The constituency, which has been represented by Mr Gandhi’s mother and Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the past, has traditionally voted for the party.
The battle for Amethi is also a major test for Priyanka, who as campaign manager, will have to ensure that Mr Gandhi’s over 3.5 lakh-winning margin in 2009 is not breached this time. The 42-year-old had recently told NDTV that that she will actively campaign only for her brother and mother, who is contesting from the neighbouring Raebareli constituency after vacating the Amethi seat for her son in 2004.