Sonia Gandhi ends Lok Sabha run after 25 years, is Congress's Rajya Sabha face from Rajasthan : The Tribune India

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Sonia Gandhi ends Lok Sabha run after 25 years, is Congress's Rajya Sabha face from Rajasthan

Gandhi, who represented Rae Bareli in Lok Sabha, will not contest the next general election

Sonia Gandhi ends Lok Sabha run after 25 years, is Congress's Rajya Sabha face from Rajasthan

Sonia Gandhi. PTI file



Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, February 14

Five-time Lok Sabha MP and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi was on Wednesday named the party candidate from Rajasthan.

With the nomination, Sonia, 77, has effectively ended her 25-year-old Lok Sabha run on the eve of the 2024 general election creating suspense on who would contest from the Gandhi family's traditional Rae Bareli bastion which Sonia has represented since 2004.

Ashok Gehlot announced Sonia's candidature as a Rajya Sabha candidate of the party from Rajasthan.

"We heartily welcome the announcement of Sonia Gandhi ji as the Rajya Sabha candidate from the Congress. Sonia Gandhi has a deep connection with Rajasthan. When Rajiv Gandhi became the Prime Minister, Sonia ji accompanied him on a tour of tribal-dominated districts. During the famine in Rajasthan, as Prime Minister Rajiv ji drove himself for 3 days on a tour of 9 famine- affected districts, Sonia ji remained with him."

Gehlot said that during his first term as chief minister, when the state faced severe famine and drought four times, Sonia visited many districts several times to take stock of the famine relief works, which the people of Rajasthan have still not forgotten.

"During the UPA government, Sonia ji, as NAC chairperson, always advocated strongly to protect the interests of Rajasthan in bringing big projects like refinery, metro in Rajasthan and getting cooperation from the Centre. Today, the announcement of Sonia ji as Rajya Sabha candidate from Rajasthan is a matter of happiness for the entire state," said Gehlot.

Sonia Gandhi had first come to the Lok Sabha from Amethi in the 1999 Lok Sabha poll.

She had contested her first general election after assuming reins as Congress chief in March 1998.

She later vacated Amethi for her son Rahul in the 2004 polls and shifted to Rae Bareli which she had represented since.

Rahul won the 2004, 2009, and 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Amethi losing to BJP's Smriti Irani in 2019.

It remains to be see how Sonia Gandhi's Rajya Sabha candidature re-impacts Congress election prospects in the 18th general election with everyone clear that she is the party's most reliable brand ambassador even today.

The party, however, took a conscious call to nominate Sonia from Rajya Sabha given her advancing age and frail health.

Sonia took a step back from active politics after Mallikarjun Kharge took charge as Congress president in 2022, replacing her.

She is currently chairperson of the Congress Parliamentary Party.

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#Congress #Lok Sabha #Rajasthan #Rajya Sabha #Sonia Gandhi


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