2024 Lok Sabha polls: Loyalist in the fray, Amethi still a prestige battle for Gandhi family - Hindustan Times
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2024 Lok Sabha polls: Loyalist in the fray, Amethi still a prestige battle for Gandhi family

By, Lucknow
May 05, 2024 05:00 AM IST

Priyanka Gandhi was present in Amethi on Friday to underline Kishori Lal Sharma’s importance and association with the Gandhi family. She mentioned this fact before Sharma filed his nomination papers in Amethi.

The fight for the Amethi Lok Sabha seat will still be a battle of prestige for the Gandhi family even though the Congress has fielded a loyalist and non-Gandhi family member Kishori Lal Sharma as its candidate.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra addresses supporters at the party office before the filing of nomination by party candidate from Amethi Kishori Lal Sharma. (ANI PHOTO)
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra addresses supporters at the party office before the filing of nomination by party candidate from Amethi Kishori Lal Sharma. (ANI PHOTO)

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi gave indications in this regard right from the time her party announced Sharma’s candidature early Friday morning.

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Priyanka Gandhi was present in Amethi on Friday to underline Kishori Lal Sharma’s importance and association with the Gandhi family. She mentioned this fact before Sharma filed his nomination papers in Amethi.

Priyanka said she had seen KL Sharma working for the people and would work shoulder to shoulder with him. She asked people to join hands to ensure the Congress candidate’s victory.

She indicated she will camp in the region from May 6 till the end of campaigning to fight the election for the people of Amethi.

“Yes, she will remain involved in the campaign in the same manner. She came to Amethi on the nomination day. She will soon come back for campaigning in the constituency,” Sharma said.

Sharma’s connection with the Gandhi family may be traced back to 1983 when the then Amethi MP Rajiv Gandhi had brought him from Ludhiana, Punjab, as a coordinator. Owing to his loyalty to the Gandhi family and work in the constituency in the past 40 years, he has been fielded as a Congress candidate now.

“KL Sharma is like a member of Gandhi family. He has worked in the constituency for the past 40 years for Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Earlier, a member of the Gandhi family was the face and KL Sharma used to take care of the work. There is no difference for us even now and we all will fight the election,” said Amethi District Congress Committee president Pradeep Singhal.

The Congress had earlier fielded the Gandhi family’s close friend Captain Satish Sharma from the constituency in 1996 and he won the seat. He, however, lost to the BJP’s Sanjay Singh in 1998.

Later, when Sonia Gandhi took the political plunge and contested polls from Amethi in 1999, Captain Satish Sharma was shifted to Rae Bareli and won the seat.

KL Sharma, meanwhile, on Saturday held meetings with Congress workers of three blocks under Salon assembly segment of Amethi Lok Sabha seat.

“Though all these leaders have been working on the ground, I have just streamlined the work in Salon. I will cover the other four assembly segments of Amethi Lok Sabha seat in the next three to four days to streamline functioning there,” Sharma said.

Congress general secretary (incharge UP) Avinash Pandey reached Amethi and held coordination meetings with the local Samajwadi Party (SP) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders on Saturday.

He discussed various points to ensure that the Congress-Samajwadi Party alliance percolates down to the booth level in Amethi.

“Yes, we discussed how we can have better coordination to ensure KL Sharma’s victory,” Pandey said, speaking to media persons there.

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