New Delhi: On his first visit to Amethi after losing the Lok Sabha election, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday attributed his defeat to local leaders staying away from the people and assured he will not abandon the constituency, party functionaries said.
“I will not leave Amethi. It is my home and family,” former state Youth Congress chief Nadeem Ashraf Jayasi quoted Mr Gandhi as saying at a meeting.
“The development of Amethi will not be hampered. I am the MP from Wayanad but my ties with Amethi are three decades old. I will fight for Amethi in Delhi,” Mr. Gandhi told party workers.
In a stunning poll result, Union minister Smriti Irani defeated Mr Gandhi in his family bastion by over 55,000 votes in the recent elections. Before the 2019 defeat, Mr Gandhi had represented Amethi since the 2004 general election. Many workers said that the Congress was weak in the entire district and the party campaign lacked direction, according to the participants. They alleged that some party men worked with the BJP in the constituency. They also unanimously demanded that Mr. Gandhi should withdraw his resignation from the party president’s post.
On reaching Amethi, the Congress leader first visited the Gauriganj house of his party’s Tiloi assembly in-charge Mata Prasad Vaish to offer condolences over the death of a relative on June 25.
Later, he attended the review meeting with party office-bearers at Nirmala Devi Educational Institute in Gauriganj.
More than 15,000 people turned up for the workers’ meeting for which only 1,200 were invited. Mr Gandhi asked party men to be ready for a long battle to resurrect the Congress, saying he would stand by them. He tweeted “I am very happy to be here in Amethi. Coming to Amethi feels like coming home.”
Many workers said that the Congress was weak in the entire district and the party campaign lacked direction, according to the participants.
They alleged that some party men worked with the BJP in the constituency. They also unanimously demanded that Gandhi should withdraw his resignation from the party president’s post.
The Congress leader had earlier announced his resignation while taking responsibility for the drubbing the party received in the Lok Sabha elections.
In Amethi, Gandhi’s representative Chandrakant Dubey and Congress district president Yogendra Mishra have resigned. The meeting with party workers, including booth presidents from five assembly segments — Salon, Amethi, Gauriganj, Jagdishpur and Tiloi — lasted barely 50 minutes.