Rahul blames local leaders for Amethi defeat, says will not abandon constituency

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AMETHI: On his first visit here after losing the Lok Sabha seat, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Wednesday attributed his defeat to local leaders staying away from the people and assured he will not abandon the constituency, party functionaries said. “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. In a stunning poll result, Union minister Smriti Irani defeated Gandhi in his bastion by over 52,000 votes in the recent elections. Before the 2019 defeat, Gandhi had represented Amethi since 1999. District Congress committee member Narendra Mishra said Gandhi appreciated the hard work by party workers.

According to him, Gandhi said the workers did a lot during the campaign but local leaders remained away from the people, leading to his defeat. Many workers said the Congress was weak in the entire district and the party campaign lacked direction, according to the participants. They alleged that some party men worked with the BJP in the constituency.

They also unanimously demanded that Gandhi should withdraw his resignation from the party president’s post. The Congress leader has announced his resignation while taking responsibility for the drubbing the party received in the Lok Sabha elections. In Amethi, Gandhi’s representative Chandrakant Dubey and Congress district president Yogendra Mishra have resigned. The meeting with party workers, including booth presidents from five assembly segments — Salon, Amethi, Gauriganj, Jagdishpur and Tiloi – lasted barely 50 minutes.

Gandhi then left for two villages in Chhatoh block on the way to Lucknow, from where he flew back to Delhi. On reaching Amethi, the Congress leader first visited the Gauriganj house of his party’s Tiloi assembly incharge Mata Prasad Vaish to offer condolences over the death of a relative on June 25. Later, he attended the review meeting with party office-bearers at Nirmala Devi Educational Institute in Gauriganj.

Ahead of his visit, a poster appeared outside the party office demanding justice for the death of a man who was allegedly denied treatment by a hospital run by the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Trust. In May, Irani had shared a video on Twitter that showed a man claiming that the hospital refused treatment to his uncle because the family held an Ayushman Bharat card. The hospital had rejected the charge. —PTI

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