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"I Am A Politician, Not A Servant Of Gandhi Family": Congress' Amethi Candidate Responds To BJP's 'Peon' Jibe

03:08 PM May 05, 2024 IST | 8PM News Desk
 i am a politician  not a servant of gandhi family   congress  amethi candidate responds to bjp s  peon  jibe
"I am a politician, not a servant of Gandhi family": Congress' Amethi candidate responds to BJP's 'peon' jibe

Raebareli : Responding to the BJP calling him a 'peon' of the Gandhis, the Congress' Amethi candidate KL Sharma on Sunday said he was a 'pure politician' and not a servant of the family, adding that Union Minister Smriti Irani, who holds the seat currently, will be defeated in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress leader said, "It was a decision taken by the party high command. Nobody had been finalised as a candidate for this seat earlier. However, I can say with full confidence and conviction that I will defeat Smriti Irani. This is a big statement I am making today. 'Mai koi Naukri nahi kar raha Gandhi Parivar ki' (I am not a servant of Gandhi family here). I am a seasoned politician and have been so for many years now. I came here in 1983 through my association with the Youth Congress. I am not on the payroll of the Congress. I am a pure politician."

On the BJP's increased vote share in Amethi and Raebareli in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Sharma said it was a pass muster at distracting public attention from the 'real' issues and that is what they have been doing over the last 10 years in power at the Centre.

"The BJP has weaponised the media (against the Opposition). Leaders and parties in the Opposition are not getting space to pursue and practice their politics. How many times has Rahul-ji been given space? People are questioning them (BJP) on what they have done in the last 10 years but they divert from the real issues and talk about mangalsutras. This election, to my mind, has echoes of 'India Shining' (a campaign by the NDA government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee going into the 2004 Lok Sabha elections)," he said.

Claiming the BJP has not fulfilled the promises it made in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress leader said, "Look at their manifesto from 2014. PM Modi said that he will give pucca houses to everyone by 2022. The promise is yet to be fulfilled. Look at the Ujjwala scheme, they only quote numbers. But what about refilling those cylinders? The people are now starting to understand everything."

Earlier, the BJP's candidate from Raebareli, Dinesh Pratap Singh, took a dig at Rahul saying that the Congress leader has sent his peon to contest Amethi against BJP's Smriti Irani.
Speaking to ANI, Singh said, "Does Rahul Gandhi really want to win Amethi and Raebareli? If he did, why would he give a Lok Sabha ticket to his peon from Amethi? The Congress will lose both Raebareli and Amethi seats."

"He ran away from Amethi. For Smriti Irani, the people of Amethi are just like her family members. They hold the same place in her heart as her loved ones. Earlier, when the Gandhi family used to visit Amethi or Raebareli, the people were separated from them with ropes and they just passed them by, waving their hands," he added.

After weeks of deliberations and speculations, Congress announced on Friday that Rahul will be its candidate from the traditional Gandhi family stronghold of Raebareli, while KL Sharma will contest Amethi in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

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.

KL Sharma will go head-to-head with Union Minister Smriti Irani, who trounced Rahul in the 2019 elections, breaching the Congress bastion.
Voting in Amethi and Raebareli will be held in Phase 5 of the elections on May 20. The counting of votes has been scheduled for June 4.

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