On his first visit to Amethi after suffering an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Union minister Smriti Irani in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Wednesday attended a review meeting with party office-bearers.
According to party functionaries, Gandhi attributed his defeat to local leaders staying away from the people and assured he will not abandon the constituency. “I will not leave Amethi. It is my home and family,” former state Youth Congress chief Nadeem Ashraf Jayasi quoted 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,” Gandhi reportedly told party workers.
Gandhi went to Gauriganj and visited the house of his party’s Tiloi assembly in-charge Mata Prasad Vaish, whose relative passed away on June 25, and paid condolences to the bereaved family. The review meeting was held at Nirmala Devi Educational Institute in Gauriganj.
He also party representatives, including booth presidents of five assembly segments – Salon, Amethi, Gauriganj, Jagdishpur, and Tiloi.
अमेठी आकर बहुत खुश हूँ। अमेठी आना घर आने जैसा लगता है। pic.twitter.com/B6YW2f7aLg
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 10, 2019
In the Lok Sabha elections, Gandhi lost the Congress’ pocket borough of Amethi, a constituency he represented for 15 years, to Irani, who won by more than 52,000 votes. Following Gandhi’s defeat, his representative Chandrakant Dubey and district president Yogendra Mishra have resigned.
Taking accountability for the Congress’ drubbing, Gandhi stepped down as party president. He is currently a Member of Parliament from Wayanad constituency in Kerala.
The Congress has been grappling with a leadership crisis ever since Gandhi stepped down as party chief. His decision triggered a spate of resignations by senior and middle ranked Congress leaders expressing solidarity with Gandhi.
There has been intense lobbying in the Congress ever since Gandhi decided to step down with the seniors suggesting that a veteran should take over and be assisted by one or more young working presidents. The younger lot in the party, however, believe the party should think out-of-the-box now and hand over the reins to a young leader.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines