Phase 5 LS polls to decide fate of Rahul, Smriti, Rajnath among others

New Delhi: Voting for the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections, which covers 49 seats across six states and two union territories (UTs), is set to decide the electoral fate of leaders from some of the high-profile constituencies, including Raebareli, Amethi, and Lucknow.

Of the 49 Lok Sabha seats, 14 are from Uttar Pradesh, 13 from Maharashtra, 7 from West Bengal, 5 from Bihar, 3 from Jharkhand, 5 from Odisha, and one each from Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The fifth phase will witness key contests in various constituencies.
Leaders such as Rahul Gandhi, BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Piyush Goyal, Ujjwal Nikam, Karan Bhushan Singh, LJP (Ramvilas) chief Chirag Paswan, JKNC chief Omar Abdullah, and RJD leader Rohini Acharya will be seeking electoral success.

Key candidates and constituencies in Phase 5 polls:

Rahul Gandhi, who also contested the 2024 Lok Sabha polls from the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat, is facing Congress defector and three-time MLC Dinesh Pratap Singh of the BJP in Raebareli. Rahul represented Amethi from 2004 until 2019.

In her first public address in the ongoing election campaign for the Lok Sabha polls, Congress leader and AICC President Sonia Gandhi urged the people of Raebarelli to accept his son Rahul Gandhi just like they accepted her, while assuring that "he won't disappoint them".

"I am very happy that I got the opportunity to come among you after so long...You all gave me the opportunity to serve you as an MP, this is the biggest treasure of my life. For the last 100 years, the roots of our family have been connected to the soil of this land. This relationship is as pure as Ganga Maa. It started with the farmer's agitation for Awadh and Raebareli," Sonia Gandhi said, addressing the public meeting.

Sonia Gandhi held the seat for four consecutive terms since 2004, before she took the Rajya Sabha route to the Parliament this year.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed confidence on Wednesday that BJP candidate Dinesh Pratap Singh will defeat Rahul Gandhi here and took a dig at the Congress leader, stating that he should have told people of Wayanad in Kerala that he will contest from two seats.
"Anyone can contest from anywhere, but Rahul Gandhi should have said before the elections that he is going to contest on two seats. I think, from a democratic point of view, it is not right to hide it. He should have told the people of Wayanad about it and then asked them to make their choice. When you see a threat in a post-poll survey, and then you come to Raebaerli, I think it is not correct," he said.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that Uttar Pradesh paves the way for the country, and the BJP will face its heaviest defeat here.

"INDIA Alliance and Akhilesh Yadav are going to win here. I give it to you in writing, a storm of INDIA Alliance is coming to Uttar Pradesh. I give it to you in writing, BJP is going to face its biggest defeat in the country, here in Uttar Pradesh," Gandhi said.

"Uttar Pradesh has made up its mind that a change has to set in here, that a change has to set in in India, and that is why the decision has been made. The public has made up its mind," he added.

Congress leader Kishori Lal Sharma, also the Gandhi family's close aide, has been fielded against Smriti Irani in Amethi.

Congress leader Kishori Lal Sharma has expressed confidence in winning the polls.

"Not contesting to lose. I have faith in the alliance," Sharma said in an interview with ANI.

He said that the Amethi constituency was developed by the Gandhi family and urged voters to vote for the INDIA bloc based on their development work.

"The Gandhi family developed this constituency. Vote for us based on our development work and our (the Gandhi family's) legacy. Vote for them (BJP) for the development work they have done," he said.

Kishori Lal Sharma, a close associate and loyalist of the Gandhi family, is originally from Punjab's Ludhiana. He has been working for the Congress Party in Amethi for years.

BJP candidate Smriti Irani said that people in the constituency have understood that development is possible when the leader has good character and the government has clarity in its policies.

"The people of Amethi have accepted me as their family. I am a voter in Amethi now. The people have understood that if the government is clear with its policy and the leader has good character, then a lot of development is possible in very little time," Smriti Irani told ANI here on Monday.

The Amethi seat has been represented by Rahul since 2004, and he remained a member of Parliament from the constituency until 2019. His father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, too, was an elected member of Amethi in the Lower House from 1981 till his death in 1991.
Sonia Gandhi contested elections from there in 1999 before passing the baton on to Rahul in 2004.

Defence Minister and BJP candidate Rajnath Singh will face Samajwadi Party candidate Ravidas Mehrotra in this seat. Rajnath Singh will be aiming for a third straight win in Lucknow.

Rajnath Singh in 2019 had defeated Samajwadi Party Poonam Shatrughan Sinha with over 6.3 lakh votes. He had defeated Congress candidate Rita Bahuguna Joshi by a margin of 2,72,749 votes in 2014.
Rajnath Singh said that he tried to fulfil the dreams of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and left no stone unturned for the city's development.

"We have diligently worked towards realising Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji's vision for Lucknow, and we remain committed to advancing it further in the future. Lucknow currently ranks tenth globally, and we aim to elevate it to the fifth position," Singh said.

( Source : ANI )
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