Raebareli Lok Sabha election result: UPA chairperson and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi has retained the Congress family bastion for fourth consecutive time.
Raebareli election 2019 result: Congress leader Sonia Gandhi has won from Raebareli Lok Sabha seat, defeating her nearest rival, BJP candidate Dinesh Pratap Singh. Sonia has won by a margin of 1,67,178 votes, the Election Commission’s website said. While Sonia got 5,34,918 votes, Singh secured 3,67,740 votes. The SP and the BSP had supported her on this seat. In 2014, Sonia had won by a margin of 3,52,713 votes by defeating BJP’s Ajay Agarwal.
This is Sonia’s fourth consecutive victory from Congress’ family bastion. Located in the Awadh region of the state, the Raebareli Lok Sabha seat has been a traditional stronghold of the Congress party. Barring 1997, 1996 and 1998, the grand old party has won every national election from here since 1957. While Raj Narain, a freedom fighter and Bhartiya Lok Dal (BLD) leader, had defeated then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1977, Ashok Singh of the BJP had pocketed the seat in 1996 and 1998.
The constituency went to polls in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections on May 6. It witnessed a total turnout of 53.60%. While the contest here is virtually considered a walkover for the former Congress president, Sonia Gandhi is in a direct contest with Dinesh Pratap Singh of the BJP. Singh recently switched sides from the Congress to the saffron party. The Mahagathbandhan comprising Bahujan Samaj Party-Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal has not fielded any candidate from Raebareli.
In 2014, Sonia had defeated BJP’s Ajay Agrawal by a huge margin of over 3.52 lakh votes. Besides Sonia and Ajay, 15 more candidates had tried their luck. According to the Election Commission of India data, Raebareli had 15,94,954 registered electors in 2014. The turnout in 2014 was 51.73%.
This time, Sonia kept her campaign in Raebareli short due to poor health. The campaign was bolstered by her daughter and party’s general secretary for east UP Priyanka Gandhi. In total, Sonia addressed one election rally and held a roadshow at the time of filing her nomination papers. While the BJP tried to project the polls as a contest between ‘parivarvaad’ and development, the Congress’ campaign was centered around the Gandhi family and against PM Modi.
In her maiden rally, Sonia asked the people of her constituency to teach a lesson to those who had failed to fulfill their promises. She targeted the BJP and PM Narendra Modi over farmers distress, demonetisation, GST and unemployment. “Your vote is your biggest weapon and you must go out and vote,” she told nearly 16 lakh voters of Raebareli in a brief speech.
On the other hand, Dinesh Pratap Singh, a local strongman, alleged that Congress has become a “private limited company” of the first family. Singh, also a Supreme Court lawyer, said that he quit the Congress because it was serving only the interests of one family and not the nation. BJP bigwigs including its president Amit Shah and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath campaigned in Raebareli to seek votes for Singh. Bollywood actor Sunny Deol, who joined the BJP recently, also held a roadshow in Raebareli to garner support for Singh.