NEW DELHI: Rahul Gandhi will visit Amethi in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday for the first time after losing his family bastion to union minister Smriti Irani in the general elections. He had represented the Lok Sabha constituency for 15 years.
Gandhi is expected to attend a meeting of party workers and volunteers, projecting it as a ‘thank you’ visit for the electorate. Senior party leaders from the state, however, said that Gandhi decided to visit Amethi as local party workers were upset that he had not visited the constituency in the 45 days following the historic defeat.
“He will be meeting party workers, volunteers and engaging with them. In due process, some review of the performance of general elections may also come up. There has been some disgruntlement among party workers that he has not visited since the result and there was a demand of him going there," a senior party leader from Lucknow said, requesting anonymity.
Amethi had been a stronghold of the Gandhi family since the 1999 general elections, when former Congress president Sonia Gandhi won her first election from the constituency, which was earlier represented by former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and his brother Sanjay Gandhi. The seat had been with the family for more than three decades.
“There is a view in the party that Rahul Gandhi should have planned this visit a bit early because it is important for Congress to try and win back seats which have traditionally been with the party and also help win back the trust of people," he added.
Gandhi was defeated by Irani by more than 52,000 votes.
He now represents Kerala’s Wayanad in the Lok Sabha, as he had contested from two seats in the national elections. Weeks after the results, Gandhi had visited Wayanad on a three-day trip to thank the voters for their support.