Though the puritans hate to even accept and acknowledge, it’s indeed true that the political ambience of Rae Bareli is majorly dominated by personality-oriented dynamics. The constituency, which is a major Congress pocket borough, is being contested by none other than its president Sonia Gandhi and defeating her from here is a task, which seems near invincible for any other party.

A chance conversation with an elderly old man throws more light on this fact that why defeating Sonia on her ‘home-turf’ is indeed a big deal. He says, “See, Soniaji is like a weapon for us and should we discard it? Indira Gandhi lost once due to us. What did we get?”

Another man, who was seated by his side, also seconded this very thought. Though both of them are not happy with Congress, especially over the issues pertaining to corruption and inflation, it overshadows their concern of losing Sonia as ‘weapon’.

Interestingly, a few youth said that this time, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s name is also finding a place in the discussion.

An animated discussion among youth was noticed in Aghora near Gurbakshganj and though they admire Modi, they are of the opinion that the BJP has fielded a weak candidate. They say that it would have been better had the candidate been a local resident.

Several people are upset over the fact that the MPs never interact with them. It was also felt during a tour to the place that the BJP will bag votes in Harchandpur and Serni in spite of the fact that there seems to be lack of co-ordination between the saffron party’s candidate Ajay Agrawal and the party organization.

Besides, the developmental works initiated by Sonia Gandhi, which includes proposed AIIMS, rail coach and wheel factory and women’s university is also being discussed.

Like every other place, there are some tiffs and miffs here as well. From what it could be made out, Narendra Modi is a big topic of discussion among the youth. Though the area is a Congress stronghold, the BJP is also expected to make some significant inroads.

It’s indeed clear that the real challenge for Sonia Gandhi does not lie in winning the elections but winning it by a comprehensive margin against its prime rival BJP.


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