Cong citadel Rae Bareli fell into opposition lap thrice
Rae Bareli, Apr 19 (UNI) Members of the Nehru-Gandhi family and their close associates have been elected from the Rae Bareli parliamentary constituency 13 times in the total 16 elections, including two bypolls, while the opposition has been able to capture the traditional Congress citadel only thrice.
In both the 1952 and 1957 general elections, when Rae Bareli was a double member constituency, Feroze Gandhi and Baij Nath Kureel were elected on Congress tickets.
In the byelection held after Feroze's sudden demise in 1960, Congress candidate Rajendra Pratap Singh retained the seat. In 1962, Congress nominee Raja Dinesh Singh again won the seat.
Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi won the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat three times in 1967, 1971 and 1980, but lost in 1977. In 1980, when she had won from both Rae Bareli and Medak (Andhra Pradesh), she later vacated Rae Bareli seat.
Congress' Arun Nehru was elected from here in the byelection later in the year.
In the 1984 general elections, Arun Nehru was re-elected from Rae Bareli on a Congress ticket, while in 1989 and 1991, Congress' Sheela Kaul represented the constituency.
In the 1999 general polls, Capt Satish Sharma won the seat as a Congress candidate.
The opposition parties have succeeded in wresting the seat from the Congress only thrice.
In the post-emergency 1977 general elections, Janata Party's Raj Narain defeated Indira Gandhi. However, she avenged her defeat in 1980.
BJP won the seat twice in 1996 and 1998, when its candidate Ashok Singh was elected from the segment.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi won the seat in 2004, defeating her nearest rival Ashok Kumar Singh (Samajwadi Party) by a margin of 2,49,765 votes. Sonia had polled 3,78,107 votes, while Singh managed 1,28,342 votes.
BSP nominee Rajesh Yadav occupied the third place with 57,543 votes, while BJP candidate Girish Narain Pandey was relegated to the fourth position with 31,290 votes. Apna Dal nominee Indra Pal Singh had merely polled 9,969 votes in the election.
The third bypoll to the seat, occasioned by Ms Gandhi's resignation in wake of the office of profit controversy, will be held on May 8.
The Congress president, who is fighting again from the seat will face the SP's Raj Kumar Chaudharia and BJP's Vinay Katiyar. While the BSP has opted out of the electoral arena, Apna Dal nominee Prabha Singh -- being supported by expelled BJP leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti -- is also in the fray.
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