It doesn’t suggest a massive wave of change on the ground but a new yearning is going to evolve in the thought-process. In fact, in order to win the elections in a VVIP constituency like Amethi, Gandhi family’s name and a little bit of work in the area is more than enough.

Ever since late former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi contested the polls in 1981, the mood of Amethi voters have been like that only. Today, his daughter Priyanka Gandhi has infused a tinge of aggression in the overall scenario. However, this has fueled apprehensions of complexities in Rahul’s Amethi.

A primary school teacher in Fursatganj, Ram Kishore gave an apt answer in this context. He said, “On 12th April, during filing of Rahul’s nomination papers, Priyanka harped on the issue of her cousin Varun Gandhi treading on a deviated path. This brought a little bit of change in the air. However, by keeping aside the issue of family differences later, the entire subject was painted in ideological colours.”

It needs to be mentioned here that Priyanka hinted at teaching Varun a lesson. A few might have been impressed by this display of aggression while for others, it was quite unnecessary.

The people of Amethi are of opinion that in order to win the elections, the name of Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi is enough as it strike as emotional chord.

On a lighter note, a school director said, “Priyanka’s aggressive stance has nationalized the elections of Amethi.”

According to him, only and only Priyanka should be held responsible for whatever is good as well or bad for Congress in this election.

Attempts to look into the mind of Amethi voters reveal this fact that not only in papers but Priyanka factor has become quite influential in surface level as well. People say that the relationship Priyanka established with the voters, was once woven by her father Rajiv Gandhi. Whereas Rahul, in spite of contesting three elections have not been able to establish that bond.

Mustaq, a Fursatganj resident said, “Rajiv’s speeches appeared real while Rahul’s looks like a reality show. While Rajiv’s mode of contact had more humane touch, Rahul’s is mechanical.”

By bringing her attraction and charm into application, Priyanka has filled in the void left by Rahul.

However, a new problem has now arisen. Instead of defending, she relied more on attacking, banked on emotions and started raising national issues. This may have heightened her stature but increased the complexities in Amethi.

Amethi’s elections have become more like elections taking place in other constituencies of the state and the Congress can pay the price for it.

Priyanka had leveled allegations on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. After that, at least on the basis of campaigning, the saffron party gained lead.

Such has been its impact that slogans like ‘D se desh’ and ‘D se damaad’ started making rounds. Even words like ‘Jija’ and ‘Jamai Babu’ have become subjects of laughter. This difference between Rae Bareli and Amethi can be clearly seen.

The people hold the state government responsible for poor condition of roads, electricity and other problems but the people of Amethi holds Rahul accountable for these issues.

The people of Rae Bareli take the name of Kishori Lal Sharma, Sonia’s representative, for this shortcoming of Congress but in Amethi, the onus is passed on Rahul Gandhi instead of his representative Chandrakant Dubey.

If several industries are shut down in Rae Bareli, new ones have also been set up but nothing of that sort happened in case of locked industries of Amethi. Questions are also being raised over his MPLAD scheme.

The Rahul camp was ought to become alert taking into account the low turnout of voters in the last Lok Sabha polls. Whether the distance has widened or not during these five years, people have different takes on it.

It’s possible that Rahul’s distance with the voters may not prove that much beneficial for BJP or Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

AAP’s Kumar Vishwas is being seen as a source of ‘entertainment’ here and his dreams of emerging as a giant-killer may never become true.

Similarly, BJP’s Smriti Irani has lost a few brownie points over the delay in announcement of her candidature from the VVIP seat.

Overall, it does not seem that Amethi will throw up any new result but the political implication over the reduction of margin of votes between Rahul Gandhi and his opponents would be crucial.

Rahul’s national credibility will suffer blow of sorts this time even if the margin of votes see a decrease.

Prashant Mishra/JPN

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