"Robert Vadra Ab Ki Baar" Posters In Amethi Amid Rahul Gandhi Suspense

While the BJP has announced sitting MP and Union Minister Smriti Irani as its Amethi candidate, the Congress is yet to name its pick.

Posters supporting Robert Vadra have come up in Amethi Lok Sabha constituency

Amethi (UP):

Amid the suspense over the Congress's Amethi candidate, posters demanding a poll pass for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's husband Robert Vadra have come up outside the local party office. The posters read, "Amethi ki janta kare pukar, Robert Vadra ab ki baar", meaning "the people of Amethi want Robert Vadra this time".

Amethi votes on May 20 in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha polls, and the last day of filing nomination is May 3. While the BJP has announced sitting MP and Union Minister Smriti Irani as its candidate, the Congress is yet to name its pick.

Amethi has been a family seat for the Gandhis, represented in the past by Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. In the 2019 election, Ms Irani pulled off a stunning victory over Rahul Gandhi, who managed to score a win in Kerala's Wayanad. This year too, Mr Gandhi is contesting from Wayanad, which votes on Friday. With nominations for Amethi open till May 3, Mr Gandhi may file his papers after the polling in the Kerala seat. Recently, he was asked if he would be Congress's candidate in Amethi too. "I will do whatever the party orders me," he replied.

Mr Vadra has, meanwhile, sparked a buzz after he said the people of Amethi feel that if he contests there, "they'll have the option of correcting their mistake of electing Smritiji". "I am sure they will ensure my victory by a huge margin if I contest," he said earlier. Soon after, some posters demanding him as the Congress candidate started doing the rounds on social media.

Ms Irani, whose campaign is in full swing, has slammed the Congress for the delay in announcing its candidate and taken a swipe at Mr Gandhi and his brother-in-law Mr Vadra.

"Jijaji ki nazar hai, saale sahab kya karenge. (brother-in-law is eyeing the seat, what will he (Mr Gandhi) do?) There was a time when people travelling in buses would leave their handkerchief to mark their seat so that no one sits on it. Rahul Gandhi will also come to mark his seat with a handkerchief because his brother-in-law is eyeing this seat," she recently told a gathering in Amethi.

"Has this ever happened? Just 27 days left for election, but Congress has not announced its candidate. Such arrogance. What I could do in five years, Rahul Gandhi could not do in 15," she added.

The Union Minister has also alleged that Mr Gandhi will come to Amethi after April 26 and try to divide people in the name of caste.

"After the voting in Wayanad on April 26, Rahul Gandhi will come here to tell everyone that Amethi is his family and stoke the fire of casteism. Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party rejected the invitation for the consecration ceremony of Lord Shri Ram in Ayodhya, but he will be seen roaming around the temples in Amethi. So there is a need to be careful and alert," she said at a local meeting.

Top Congress leaders had skipped the consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple this January, accusing the BJP of making a political project of the Ayodhya temple.