Congress Crafts Campaign around Nehru-Gandhi Legacy as Rahul Gandhi Prepares for Rae Bareli Battle

Rae Bareli, 10th May 2024: As Rahul Gandhi prepares to enter the electoral fray for the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat for the first time, the Congress is crafting his campaign around the Nehru-Gandhi family’s century-long association with its bastion. This move aims to assure voters of his steadfast commitment, countering the BJP’s accusation that the party vanishes from the constituency after winning power.

The party is adopting a dual strategy — “Sewa ke sau saal” (100 years of service) and “Rae Bareli ke Rahul” (Rae Bareli’s Rahul) — to be rolled out through various publicity channels and social media platforms before Rahul kicks off his campaign in the area, according to party insiders.

Rahul’s sister, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is spearheading the campaign in the seat held by their mother Sonia Gandhi for four consecutive terms, has been setting the narrative for this strategy during her public appearances.

During her engagements, Priyanka recounted the January 7, 1921, Munshiganj massacre to illustrate how four generations of the Nehru-Gandhi family, including Motilal Nehru and Jawaharlal Nehru, have stood by the people of the constituency.

A Congress leader explained, “The connection between the Nehru-Gandhi family and Rae Bareli spans a century, starting from the days of Motilal Nehru and Jawahar Lal Nehru, who stood with farmers during the 1921 massacre by the police. This enduring connection reflects our commitment to serving the people.”

Priyanka emphasised this historical bond during the first party workers’ meeting for the current polls in Rae Bareli. In Bachhrawan, she reiterated, “We heard your call and came. Motilal and Jawaharlal came and witnessed what had happened. Four generations later, we are still connected with you.”

To underscore this point, Priyanka initiated her campaign from the Munshiganj’s Shaheed Smarak, which commemorates the massacre. The party is also leveraging this incident to highlight the courage of a farmer leader from the Pasi community who stood against the British.

During her engagements, Priyanka acknowledged past mistakes while emphasizing the lessons learned, citing the example of Indira Gandhi’s defeat in Rae Bareli followed by her subsequent victory. Since India’s first election in 1952, the Congress has held the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat for 66 out of 72 years.

Another Congress leader elaborated, “This campaign narrative underscores Congress’s unwavering support for farmers over the years. It dispels the notion that the police firing began only after a taluqdar opened fire on protesting farmers.”

Meanwhile, just a few kilometers away from one of Priyanka’s street-corner meetings in Bachhrawan, BJP candidate Dinesh Pratap Singh and senior party leader Suresh Chand Tiwari conveyed to workers their skepticism about the Gandhi family’s commitment to Rae Bareli, contrasting it with their own pledge to remain with the people through thick and thin.