Priyanka Vadra may contest from Mysuru or Chikkamagalur in 2024 LS polls
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Priyanka Vadra may contest from Mysuru or Chikkamagalur in 2024 LS polls

July 11, 2023

Indira Gandhi’s victory from Chikkamagalur in 1978 gives hope to Congressmen

Bengaluru: Is the Congress party preparing for a larger role for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as the Lok Sabha (LS) elections approach, considering Rahul Gandhi’s uncertain electoral future due to a ban on contesting polls?

Party insiders indicate that Priyanka has moved to the forefront in the party’s anti-BJP efforts following the Surat Court’s verdict against Rahul in the ‘Modi surname slur’ case.

With the Congress coming to power in Karnataka, they are strategising to win at least 20 out of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the State. The party is considering fielding Priyanka Gandhi Vadra from either the Mysuru-Kodagu or Udupi-Chikkamagalur Constituencies.

Currently, these seats are held by Pratap Simha and Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje of the BJP, respectively. Initially, the Congress planned to field Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar of the Mysore royal family, but due to his lack of interest in politics, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has emerged as a potential candidate. If Priyanka declines the offer, the Congress will consider Dr. Yathindra Siddharamaiah for the seat.

Although Priyanka Gandhi has faced setbacks and made some misguided moves during her brief foray into active politics, her supporters within the Congress believe she is better suited than Rahul when it comes to election campaigns and engaging with party leaders.

Priyanka’s ability to combine an assertive stance against PM Narendra Modi and the BJP with an approachable demeanour towards ordinary voters, along with her resemblance to her late grandmother, Indira Gandhi, make her a favourable choice for leading the party’s election victories, according to Congress sources.

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Ramya from Mandya?

In the Mandya Constituency, the Congress is likely to nominate actress Ramya (Divyaspandana), who previously represented the Constituency for a short period. Additionally, there are discussions within the party to field veteran leader and AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge from the Kolar (SC) Constituency instead of his home Constituency of Kalaburagi.

The Congress believes that Kolar is a safer seat and Kharge’s contest there could have a positive impact on neighbouring Constituencies.

Other potential candidates being considered include D.K. Suresh, the current Bengaluru Rural MP, who may contest from Bengaluru South Constituency this time.

Former IPS Officer K.C. Ramamurthy, currently in the BJP, may receive a Congress ticket to contest either from Bengaluru North or Bengaluru Central.

Raksha Ramaiah, former State Youth Congress President and son of former Minister M.R. Seetharam, is being considered for Chikkaballapur, while young Congress leader Shreyas Patel of Holenarasipur, and grandson of former MP late Puttaswamygowda, may be fielded from the Hassan Constituency, which has long been a stronghold of the JD(S).

The Congress aims to kickstart its Lok Sabha campaign by finalising the list of candidates for all 28 Constituencies in the State well in advance.

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