Rahul Gandhi In Raebareli
Rahul Gandhi In Raebareli

Rahul Gandhi’s Bold Move: Choosing Raebareli Over Wayanad

Why Rahul Gandhi Chose Raebareli

Rahul Gandhi, a prominent leader of the Congress party, has made a strategic decision to represent Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh instead of Wayanad in Kerala. This move is part of the Congress’s broader plan to regain influence in key regions of India. Here are the five main reasons behind his choice and what it signifies for the party’s future.

1. Reclaiming Lost Ground in Uttar Pradesh

The Congress is keen to reclaim its lost ground in Uttar Pradesh. In the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress won six seats in the state, a significant improvement from just one seat in 2019, which was Raebareli. Congress is a part of the INDIA bloc where it got 43 seats overall, with the Samajwadi Party (SP) taking 36 of those seats. The BJP’s dominance in Uttar Pradesh has weakened considerably. In 2019, the NDA won 62 out of 80 seats, but in 2024, they managed only 36, with the BJP securing 33. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), led by Mayawati, saw a sharp decline in vote share from 19% to 9%. These votes primarily shifted to the SP and Congress. 

This swing in votes gives the Congress a ray of hope, with Rahul Gandhi aiming to capitalise on the shifting political landscape.

2. A Change in Strategy

The 2024 election results have prompted the Congress to adopt a more offensive strategy. Rahul Gandhi’s decision to keep Raebareli and give up Wayanad is a clear indication of this new approach.  Rasheed Kidwai, a political analyst, noted that this move signifies a shift from a defensive to an offensive stance. Previously, Rahul Gandhi managed the South from Wayanad while his sister, Priyanka Gandhi, focused on the North. However, the recent electoral success has changed this strategy. 

The Congress is now more confident and aims to challenge the BJP directly in its stronghold areas.

3. Revival Through Uttar Pradesh

To achieve a full revival, the Congress believes it must regain strength in Uttar Pradesh. UP played a significant role in national politics. And thus success here is important to get power in the center. 

The Congress’s improved performance in Uttar Pradesh, despite being in alliance with the Samajwadi Party, is a positive sign. The party also managed to attract Jat votes in both UP and Haryana, which were traditionally leaning towards the BJP. This trend suggests a broader acceptance and a potential revival in the heartland.

4. Targeting the Heartland

Winning in the heartland states is vital for the Congress’s strategy. These states send a substantial number of MPs to the Lok Sabha, making them critical battlegrounds. Congress has performed better in Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. Rasheed Kidwai emphasises that Congress is now focusing on these key states to strengthen its position. 

Rahul Gandhi’s presence in Raebareli is part of this strategy to win over the heartland and, by extension, influence other states like Bihar, where Congress is allied with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

5. Priyanka Gandhi’s Role in Kerala

Kerala remains a stronghold for the Congress. The state swings between the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF). In the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress won 14 out of 20 seats, with its ally IUML winning two more. Despite the LDF’s victory in the 2021 Assembly elections, the Congress is hoping for its chances in the upcoming 2026 Assembly polls.

Rahul Gandhi’s move to Raebareli allows Priyanka Gandhi to focus on Kerala, particularly Wayanad. Priyanka’s involvement is expected to boost the Congress’s campaign in Kerala. Her presence in Wayanad can help maintain the party’s influence in the state, ensuring that it remains a safe bet for Congress.

Final Line:

Rahul Gandhi’s decision to choose Raebareli over Wayanad is a calculated move aimed at strengthening the Congress’s presence in key regions. By focusing on Uttar Pradesh, the Congress hopes to rebuild its base in the heartland, which is crucial for any national revival.  The shift in strategy from defensive to offensive reflects the party’s renewed confidence following the 2024 election results. With Rahul Gandhi in Raebareli and Priyanka Gandhi in Kerala, the Congress is positioning itself to take on the BJP in future elections, aiming for a broader resurgence across India.

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