Election Results 2019: Rahul Gandhi Wins From Wayanad, But Loses From His Traditional Amethi

Rahul Gandhi contested from two constituencies - Kerala's Wayanad is his second seat apart from his traditional Amethi, where he had been winning since 2004.

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Election Results 2019: Rahul Gandhi Wins From Wayanad, But Loses From His Traditional Amethi

Rahul Gandhi has been seen and heard more in national and international forums.


New Delhi: 

Congress President Rahul Gandhi won from Wayanad with 12,76,945 but lost from his second seat Amethi, where he has been winning since 2004.

From giving the ruling BJP a tough fight in Gujarat in 2017 to taking away three heartland states from the BJP at the end of last year, the Congress is seen to have made a turnaround from the lowest point in its 134-year history - just 44 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. Much of this has to do with the remarkable political coming-of-age of Rahul Gandhi, who, for years, was seen as the reluctant politician and an indifferent public speaker. Given his political heritage - he is a fifth generation Nehru-Gandhi family politician - the spotlight has been on him since he joined politics in 2004.

Rahul Gandhi's bounce-back was noticeable in 2017, with a more aggressive avatar in parliament and on social media. His campaign for the Gujarat election proved that finally, he had some skin in the game. Despite losing, the Congress put up an impressive fight in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state. As he took over the reins of the Congress from mother Sonia Gandhi in the middle of the Gujarat election, it was a statement.

Over the last couple of years, Mr Gandhi has been seen and heard more in national and international forums, has appeared more self-assured and his social media game has been on point. He delivered catchy phrases like "Suit-Boot Ki Sarkar" and "Gabbar Singh Tax (GST)" to rattle the BJP. "Chowkidar Chor Hai", has been a huge hit at his public rallies.

He also used political messaging, visiting temples amid accusations of going "Hindutva lite" to undercut the BJP.

Pursuing his unusual strategy of "love thy opponents", Mr Gandhi gave political watchers their moment of a lifetime by walking across the floor of parliament to surprise PM Modi with a hug. So what if the wink that he gave to his colleagues after returning to his seat was played up by the BJP as proof of his insincerity.

He has offered a stark contrast to the Prime Minister's style of one-on-one interviews. Ridiculed and mocked by rivals - he even acknowledged the unflattering "Pappu" coined for him by critics - Mr Gandhi has regularly met the media and fielded questions. In his addresses at foreign universities and in interactions with party workers, he has been open about his party's failings.

Last month, the Congress chief came up with a manifesto that has generated a buzz for the striking welfare measures and policy proposals including a Basic Minimum Income Scheme for the poorest of the poor. To BJP questions on whether all this is possible, his swift response - "Perhaps not for the BJP". The Congress says it has consulted a huge cross-section of people to decide on the main themes of the manifesto - economists who advised on its do-ability as well as the end-user, the common man.

For the first time, he is contesting from two constituencies - Kerala's Wayanad is his second seat apart from his traditional Amethi, where he has been winning since 2004 but where the BJP sees him losing public support over the years. The BJP has accused him of contesting a second seat as he is nervous in Amethi. Mr Gandhi, however, asserts that it is his outreach to the south.

Critics say Rahul Gandhi is far from the shrewd political operator his grandmother, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was - a shortcoming that becomes even more glaring when compared to the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah team. The 2019 polls will test his newfound political confidence to the hilt.



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