‘If my sister had contested, PM would have lost Varanasi by two-three lakh votes,’ Rahul says in Rae Bareli 

Thanking the voters of Rae Bareli and Amethi for the party’s victory, the Congress leader also expressed gratitude to alliance partner, Samajwadi Party, for their cooperation during the campaign

Updated - June 12, 2024 06:42 am IST

Published - June 12, 2024 01:00 am IST - Lucknow

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi addresses a public meeting, in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh on June 11, 2024.

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi addresses a public meeting, in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh on June 11, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP from Rae Bareli Rahul Gandhi on June 11 said that if his sister and former U.P. Congress in-charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had contested the Varanasi seat, she would have defeated Prime Minister Narendra Modi by a huge margin. Mr. Gandhi made the claim while addressing the ‘Aabhar Sabha’ (thanksgiving rally) in Rae Bareli along with Ms. Vadra. 

“Prime Minister Modi-ji somehow manages to win Varanasi. If my sister had contested from there, today the Prime Minister would have lost the Varanasi election by two-three lakh votes,” the Congress leader said. 

Thanking the voters of Rae Bareli and Amethi for the Congress party’s victory, Mr. Gandhi also expressed gratitude to alliance partner Samajwadi Party (SP) for their cooperation during the campaign. “We got a historic victory in Amethi and Rae Bareli. You (people) fought in the most difficult circumstances. I want to also thank the SP as every single worker of that party cooperated with the Congress in the fight,” Mr. Gandhi said. 

The Congress leader added that the BJP’s defeat was a clear message, and the fallout of neglecting the poor, Dalit, farmers, and Backward Classes. “BJP lost the Ayodhya seat. Ram temple was built in Ayodhya but farmers, labourers, poor, Dalits and Backward Class people were not seen in its inauguration programme. Many billionaires of the country, including Adani, Ambani were standing there, but our tribal President was not even allowed to come. Therefore, the people of Ayodhya have also given their answer to the BJP,” Mr. Gandhi said. 

Mr. Gandhi won the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat by 3,90,030 votes, defeating Dinesh Pratap Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In Amethi, the Congress’ Kishori Lal Sharma won by 1,67,196 votes, defeating former Union Minister Smriti Irani. The Congress won six out of the 17 seats it contested in U.P., registering its best performance since the 2009 Lok Sabha election. 

Ms. Vadra, who also addressed the rally, said that the Awadh region, under which Rae Bareli and Amethi fall, had sent a clear message that U.P. needs truthful and clean politics. “Awadh sent a message to entire Uttar Pradesh and the country that we need dedicated, truthful and clean politics. Socialist and Congress workers fought this election shoulder to shoulder. I express my gratitude to all of you,” Ms. Vadra, who was stationed in Rae Bareli and who campaigned for more than 10 days on the two Lok Sabha seats, said. 

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