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Rahul should not be driven by fear.

The Indian National Congress cannot be known for its indecision. After forming an alliance with the Samajwadi Party, the party should have declared candidates for Amethi and Raebareli seats in Uttar Pradesh. Unfortunately, these two seats have not yet decided on their candidates. Sonia Gandhi’s unwillingness to defend Raebareli is reasonable considering her physical state. It is a different story that it did not prevent her from obtaining a safe seat in the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan. The UP party advocated for Rahul Gandhi to run in Amethi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi in Raebareli seats. They remain unsure. If the party had publicised their names, it would have had an advantage in the national campaign.

Unfortunately, Rahul Gandhi has opted to run from Wayanad in Kerala. Although he was elected in 2019, Amethi people did not support him. Indira Gandhi, his grandmother, ran for office in Medak, Andhra Pradesh and Chikmagalur, Karnataka. Of course, she travelled to the south in different conditions. She returned to Raebareli for the following election, when she was warmly welcomed. In 2019, Sonia Gandhi was the sole Congress candidate who won in Uttar Pradesh, continuing the trend. If Gandhi quits Amethi, it would reflect negatively on the Congress and the I.N.D.I. A. It heads an alliance. The prevalent opinion is that he is afraid of losing in Amethi.

Politics is the art of possibilities, not certainties. The outcome of Gandhi’s election is unimportant. For 10 years, the country was governed by a prime minister who did not hold a Lok Sabha seat. Gandhi had more public support after being temporarily removed from Parliament. The Congress-led UDF may have retained Wayanad with a good young candidate from Kerala, given the electorate composition. In other words, Rahul Gandhi is not essential to the Congress’s success in Wayanad. The Congress has a historic vote bank in Raebareli and Amethi, as well as backing from the SP and people dissatisfied with the BJP’s attitude. I wish Rahul Gandhi had learnt from the Bard’s remark that “security is mortal’s chief enemy.”

 

ABHISHEK VERMA

 

 

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