New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) Rahul Gandhi, who has stepped down as Congress President, will visit Amethi on Wednesday for the first time since he was defeated in his traditional Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh.
Party leaders told IANS on Monday that Gandhi will be on a day’s visit to Amethi. His sister and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is likely to accompany him.
A party leader said that during his visit to Amethi’s Gauriganj (district headquarter) Gandhi will meet with party workers and discuss the reasons for his loss in the recent election. He said that after holding meeting with the party workers, Gandhi will also interact with the public.
Gandhi lost from his pocket borough in the Lok Sabha election to Union minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani by 55,000 votes. Gandhi’s visit is a clear indication that he has not given up on Amethi which used to be his family bastion till he lost the polls.
“Rahul has always treated Amethi as his family and he is coming to meet his family members. It is not a political visit,” said Congress MLC Deepak Singh. The visit is designed to boost the morale of party workers who have sunk into the realms of despair after the Congress rout in the Lok Sabha polls.
A party leader requesting anonymity said that Gandhi is likely to change his team in Amethi following the recommendations from several party workers. Party workers have blamed the representatives of Gandhi for poor campaigning in Amethi, which led to his loss.
The party source said that Gandhi may appoint K.L. Sharma as the Amethi in-charge once again. Last month, Priyanka Gandhi during her visit to Rae Bareli to thank voters along with her mother and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, came down heavily on party workers for not ensuring the victory of Congress candidates. She felt that the proximity of many activists with senior leaders had reduced the party to such a state.
Earlier, a three-member Congress team had visited Amethi and submitted a report to Priyanka Gandhi citing the reasons for the loss.
Rahul Gandhi has represented Amethi for three consecutive terms, starting in 2004. In this Lok Sabha election, the Congress bagged only one seat in Uttar Pradesh with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi winning from Rae Bareli.