Rahul Gandhi invokes 100-year-old ties with Rae Bareli, calls it karmabhoomi of Indira, Sonia

Considered a Gandhi family bastion, the Rae Bareli seat had been represented by senior Congress leader Sonia Gandhi since 2004. The constituency was earlier represented by former PMs Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi

Updated - May 13, 2024 10:03 pm IST

Published - May 13, 2024 04:18 pm IST - Lucknow

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi being garlanded during a public meeting for Lok Sabha elections in Raebareli on May 13, 2024.

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi being garlanded during a public meeting for Lok Sabha elections in Raebareli on May 13, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

Congress leader and Rae Bareli Lok Sabha candidate Rahul Gandhi on Monday recalled the association of the Gandhi family with the constituency saying the relationship goes back to the “time of Motilal Nehru”.

“My Rae Bareli family has been continuously fighting for democracy, Constitution and justice for the last 100 years. From the time of Pandit Motilal Nehru ji till today, Rae Bareli has always shown the way to the country and has made its invaluable contribution in strengthening democracy. Once again, the Rae Bareli family is ready to unite and light the torch of justice,” said Mr. Gandhi at a joint public meeting in Bachhrawan area of Rae Bareli along with his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

It is Mr. Gandhi’s first visit to the constituency after filing nomination papers from the seat previously held by his mother Sonia Gandhi.

Mr. Gandhi said people of Rae Bareli had “taught politics to Jawaharlal Nehru”. “There was a farmers’ movement, Jawaharlal ji participated in it. People of Rae Bareli taught politics to Jawaharlal Nehru,” he said.

Mr. Gandhi said the Gandhi family shares a “personal relationship” with the constituency. “Rae Bareli is the karmabhoomi of my grandmother and mother, a living example of 100 years of service and emotional relationship. We have to strengthen the bond,” he said.

The Congress leader said this election is a fight between two ideologies. “The INDIA alliance wants to save the constitutional and democratic values of India, but the BJP-RSS is aiming to dismantle foundational ideas of the Constitution,” said Mr. Gandhi.

Mr. Gandhi accused the Narendra Modi-led BJP government of favouring big capitalists by waiving off loans worth ₹16 lakh crore. He said Mr. Modi’s salary is around ₹1.5 lakh. “So how does he wear a suit worth ₹1 lakh a day? Who is buying suits and shoes worth lakhs,” he asked.

Ms. Vadra, who addressed the gathering, said all sections of the society are angry with the BJP. “The public is saying that they want relief from inflation. The youth want employment, farmers want income. Women, Dalits and tribals want security. The deprived communities want participation and justice, that’s why the people of the country have decided that now the government of the people will be formed by the INDIA bloc,” she said.

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