Rahul Gandhi to retain Raebareli seat, Priyanka Gandhi to contest from Wayanad: Mallikarjun Kharge

"Priyanka will contest from Wayanad and I will also visit there periodically. We will fulfil all the promises," Rahul Gandhi said.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 17, 2024 | 7:46 PM Updated Jun 17, 2024 | 8:09 PM

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, KC Venugopal and Priyanka Gandhi speaking to reporters.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said on Monday, 17 June, that Rahul Gandhi would vacate the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat and retain Raebareli.

He also added that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra would contest from Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in the ensuing by-poll.

“Our leader Rahul Gandhi has won from two constituencies. According to law, he has to vacate one and retain one. Since tomorrow (18 June) is the last date to decide on it, the party has decided that Rahul Gandhi should retain the Raebareli seat since his family has close connections with the constituency for long and the people there have been asking for him to retain the seat,” Kharge said.

“The people of Wayanad also want him to retain the seat but the law doesn’t permit it. Therefore, we have asked Priyanka (Gandhi) to contest from Wayanad. The party is thankful towards both of them for accepting the decision,” he added.

Also Read: Congress in Kerala apologises to Christians over controversial social media post

‘Will get two MPs’

After the decision, Rahul Gandhi said both Rae Bareli and Wayanad “will get two MPs”.

I have emotional connections with both Wayanad and Raebareli. I have been the MP of Wayand for the past five years and all people across all parties have loved me. I am thankful for that and will always remember that,” Rahul Gandhi said.

“Priyanka will contest from Wayanad and I will also visit there periodically. We will fulfil all the promises made to the people. The relationship with Raebareli is an old one. I am very happy to represent the people there. But the decision (to vacate Wayanad) was not easy,” he added.

“She (Priyanka) will definitely win the election and is going to be a very good representative for the people of Wayanad. People of Wayanad can think of it like this: they will have two members of Parliament, one is my sister and one is me,” Rahul Gandhi said.

“I am very happy to represent Wayanad. I won’t let the people of Wayanad feel his (Rahul) absence. I will try my best to keep everybody happy,” Priyanka Gandhi said.

“I will work with my brother for both Raebareli and Wayanad,” she added.

The decision was taken after Congress’ top leadership held discussions at Kharge’s residence in New Delhi earlier in the day.

The meeting also discussed whether Rahul Gandhi would take up the post of Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, sources said.

Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, a former Congress president, and party general secretaries KC Venugopal and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were present during the discussions.

Rahul Gandhi had won both from Wayanad and Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituencies and he has to vacate one of the seats within 14 days of the Lok Sabha results, which came out on 4 June.

The Congress Working Committee, the highest decision-making body of the party, has also urged Rahul Gandhi to take up the position of the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha and a resolution to this effect was passed by the CWC in its last meeting held on 8 June.

Venugopal had said that the CWC urged Rahul Gandhi to take up the position as “he is the best person” for the post.

There are indications that Priyanka Gandhi may contest the seat vacated by Rahul Gandhi in the by-poll.

(With PTI inputs)

(South First is now on WhatsApp  and Telegram)