Former Congress president and incumbent MP Sonia Gandhi won in the Rae Bareli constituency with a margin of 1.6 lakh votes. She contested against BJP’s Dinesh Pratap Singh who switched from the Congress to the BJP before the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.
In 2014, Gandhi had won in Rae Bareli with a margin of over 4 lakh votes against BJP’s Ajay Agarwal.
In the aftermath of the exit polls which projected a grim picture for the Congress, Gandhi has reportedly been actively reaching out to the Opposition parties. Congress president Rahul Gandhi told PTI that she will play a crucial role in bringing non-NDA parties together and in the formation of the next government.
Rae Bareli is a Gandhi family stronghold. Gandhi herself has won from the constituency in 2004, 2006 (bypolls), 2009 and 2014. The Congress has won the seat 19 times, including three bye-elections. The seat has also been represented by Firoze Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Arun Nehru, Sheila Kaul and Capt Satish Sharma.
There were speculations that Gandhi may retire from electoral politics making way for a her daughter Priyanka. The Congress, however, announced that Priyanka Gandhi would not be contesting the 2019 elections.
Gandhi filed her nomination from Rae Bareli on 11 April. She held a roadshow and offered a puja — keeping up with a 52-year-old family tradition. The havan, Hindustan Times reported, was performed at the residence of late Congress leader Gaya Prasad Shukla.