Smriti Irani and Rahul Gandhi in Amethi on Feb 19, latter’s visit after a long gap

New Delhi: Amethi Lok Sabha constituency, a traditional stronghold of the Gandhis, is all geared up for intense action and political fireworks on February 19, with the same-day arrival of Rahul Gandhi and Smriti Irani, two bigwigs of BJP and Congress party.

Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra reached Prayayag in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday evening and on Monday he will head to Amethi, the Lok Sabha constituency that sent him to Parliament thrice in 2004, 2009 and 2014.

On the other hand, Union Minister Smriti Irani, who outsmarted Rahul in the 2019 poll battle, is also reaching her constituency as part of her four-day tour.

Notably, the two leaders or their convoys are unlikely to cross paths during Amethi visit. This is probably for the second time after 2019 Lok Sabha elections that the two leaders will be in the town, at the same time. Last time, they were in city during 2022 Assembly elections, when both leaders added vigour to the respective parties campaign.

After losing 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul almost ‘abandoned’ his erstwhile three-time Parliamentary constituency. This visit is probably his second after 2019.

Smriti Irani has been a regular visitor here, often holding ‘chaupals’ to hear people’s grievances and also to address their daily problems.

On February 19, Union Minister Smriti Irani will land at Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport at around 9 a.m. and will then head to Amethi via road. Four-day trip to Amethi will see the Union Minister holding numerous meets with villagers and city residents, for getting first-hand account of their daily travails while impressing upon them about Modi government’s schemes bringing a turnaround in people’s lives.

On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra will reach Amethi via Kohra village at around 3 p.m. The Yatra, crossing through the city, will assemble at Amethi’s Chowk Bazaar, where Rahul will put garlands on the bust of Mahatma Gandhi as well as Rajiv Gandhi.

During the Yatra, Rahul will also meet and interact with many locals and walk with pedestrians while take a brief halt at party office in Gauriganj.

Reports suggest that Priyanka will also join Rahul in Amethi, in a bid to amplify and add strength to his footmarch.

Rahul’s Yatra will further leave for Rae Bareli on February 20. The Yatra will eventually move to Rajasthan from UP.

Notably, Amethi has been one of the biggest strongholds of Congress and among the most ‘safe seats’ for Gandhis. Rahul Gandhi got elected to Parliament from this seat, thrice only to get defeated by BJP leader Smriti Irani in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

With Rahul Gandhi and Smriti Irani, both arriving in Amethi together, this could set the stage for fresh political bickering between the two parties.

IANS

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