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Rahul Gandhi to relinquish Wayanad seat, retain Raebareli

Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi is set to give up his Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in favor of retaining Raebareli.

This decision will allow his sister, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, to contest from Wayanad, a speculation that has been growing over recent days.

Despite internal demands from Congress leaders, Rahul Gandhi is unlikely to accept the position of Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha. Holding this position would grant him Cabinet rank status and improve coordination with allies in the INDIA bloc. However, sources indicate that Gandhi is not inclined towards this role, reported NDTV.

The Congress is holding a high-level meeting to finalize the decision regarding the Wayanad seat, as today is the last day to notify the Lok Sabha secretariat. The decision on the Leader of the Opposition may also be discussed, but selecting a candidate for Wayanad can wait since the bypoll will occur within six months of Gandhi vacating the seat.

In the recent Lok Sabha elections, Gandhi won the Wayanad constituency by a margin of 3.64 lakh votes, surpassing his performance in Raebareli, where he secured a margin of 3.9 lakh votes. The Raebareli seat, historically a Gandhi family stronghold, was held by Sonia Gandhi since 2004 until her recent move to the Rajya Sabha.

Gandhi's choice to retain Raebareli is influenced by its location in Uttar Pradesh, which has the highest number of Lok Sabha seats. The success of the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance in the state, winning 43 out of 80 seats, also impacted the decision.

Last week, Gandhi expressed his indecision about which seat to retain, assuring that his final decision would satisfy both constituencies. Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee chief K Sudhakaran hinted at the decision, suggesting that Rahul Gandhi's national leadership role necessitates his departure from Wayanad.

If Priyanka Gandhi contests from Wayanad, it will mark her political debut, ending long-standing speculation. Previously, there were rumors of her contesting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi or from Raebareli, while Rahul Gandhi would attempt to reclaim Amethi.

The Congress' recent electoral performance has been remarkable, nearly doubling its seats nationally from 52 to 99, making it eligible to claim the Leader of the Opposition post for the first time in a decade.

The Congress Working Committee recently passed a resolution advocating for Rahul Gandhi's appointment to this post, citing his leadership during the Bharat Jodo Yatra and his pivotal role in the 2024 elections. However, sources suggest that Gandhi might endorse another senior leader for this responsibility.

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TAGS:Rahul GandhiWayanadRaebareli
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