ANI Photo | “Lack of confidence…”: Smriti Irani on Congress’ delay in announcement of candidates for Lok Sabha polls

Expressing surprise over the prolonged delay in the announcement of the Congress party candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Union Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday asserted that the extended timeframe might be an indicator of the Congress facing defeat in the upcoming elections.
Union Minister Smriti Irani, who defeated Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in the 2019 elections from the Amethi seat, said “Why are people who say that Amethi is the Gandhi family’s bastion taking so much time to announce a candidate? Their lack of confidence tells that Amethi is no longer the Congress’ stronghold,” she said.
On speculations of Rahul Gandhi contesting from two seats Wayanad and Amethi, Irani said, “If he is contesting on two seats, it means that he is announcing his defeat from Amethi even before the elections. If he has courage, he must contest from Amethi alone without seeking the help of Mayawati or Akhilesh Yadav. The truth will come out,” Irani said.
“I don’t know who the Congress candidate would be (from Amethi), but this is a strange spectacle in the politics of Congress that for the first time, Congress is taking so long to declare their candidate from Amethi. This is the sign of Congress’ defeat,” Smriti Irani said while speaking to ANI on Wednesday.
Earlier in February, during a visit to her parliamentary constituency, Amethi, which clashed with Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, Union Minister Smriti Irani said that the empty streets that greet Rahul Gandhi are a reflection of the people of Amethi’s anger towards the Gandhi family.
“The anger of the people of Amethi against the Gandhi family is visible. Today, when Rahul Gandhi) arrived, he was welcomed by empty streets. The anger of those who were deprived of development in Amethi has today transformed into empty streets for the visit of the Gandhi family.” (ANI)
Amethi used to be a Congress’s stronghold in Uttar Pradesh, where Rahul Gandhi lost to Smriti Irani by a margin of around 55,000 votes in the 2019 elections.
The Congress is still undecided on whether Rahul Gandhi will attempt to regain the Congress stronghold, especially since Sonia Gandhi has also left Rae Bareili for the Rajya Sabha.
Rahul Gandhi had won Lok Sabha elections from erstwhile Nehru-Gandhi family bastion Amethi three times until the 2019 general elections when he faced defeat from BJP

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