Rahul Gandhi’s defeat in Amethi foretold in 2017

After a see-saw match between Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Union minister and BJP candidate Smriti Irani early this morning, the latter has been leading by a considerable margin for a long time  

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Amethi
New Delhi: After a see-saw match between Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Union minister and BJP candidate Smriti Irani early this morning, the latter has been leading by a considerable margin for a long time. Exit polls of 19 May had suggested Rahul Gandhi could lose this seat. If that happens, it will be the rudest jolt to the Congress in this election. The bad optics of the loss in Amethi cannot be eclipsed by a win from Wayanad.

The Congress has lost this seat in Uttar Pradesh only twice before: 1977 and 1998.

In 1977, Ravindra Pratap Singh of the Janata Party had won the seat. In 1998, the BJP’s Sanjay Singh defeated the Congress candidate but could stay an MP only for a year after which the AB Vajpayee government fell. The seat was won once by Sanjay Gandhi, four times by Rajiv Gandhi, retained by Satish Sharma between 1991 and 1998.

Amethi was reclaimed from Sanjay Singh by Sonia Gandhi in 1999. Thereafter, Rahul Gandhi has won the seat thrice. That winning streak appears to be ending even as further counting of votes registered in the EVM machines used in the constituency happens.

The Amethi Lok Sabha seat comprises five Assembly seats: Tiloi, Jagdishpur, Amethi, Gauriganj and Salon seats. In the Assembly election in the year 2017, the BJP won four of these five seats; the SP won one. Although the SP was allied with the Congress for that election, it could not win. The SP won the Gauriganj seat and the Congress did not get any. Congress should have known the people of Amethi had rejected the party right then.

In 2014, Rahul Gandhi was elected from the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency with 4,08,651 votes. He defeated Smriti Irani by 1,07,903 votes. In 2014, a total of 52.39% of the votes in the seat were cast. The Congress president may not be lucky the fourth time. In the parliamentary area, the number of total voters is 17,41,034, but only 9,40,947 people exercised the franchise this time.

Amethi is an important Lok Sabha constituency from the main city of Uttar Pradesh and the political perspective. It was officially brought into existence by the BSP government on 1 July 2010. The district headquarters are located in Gauriganj. Initially, it was named Chhatrapati Sahuji Maharaj Nagar, which was later changed to Amethi. In Indian electoral politics, Amethi is unmistakably associated with the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.

Former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, his grandson Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and his wife Sonia Gandhi have represented this district. The places of religious importance in this constituency are Devi Patan Dham, Hindu Religious Temple, Ulta Garha (Hanuman Temple), Hanuman Garhi Temple, Sati Mehrani Temple and the mosque of Malik Muhammad Jayasi. The distance from Delhi to Amethi is about 681 km.