Rahul’s sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and brother-in-law Robert Vadra were also present when he filed his nomination at the Election Commission office here.

Before filing the nomination papers, Rahul participated in a roadshow from Gauriganj to the Collectorate in a bid to woo the voters in his home turf.

Notably, the Congress scion is locked in a triangular contest with Bharatiya Janata Party's Smriti Irani and Aam Aadmi Party's Kumar Vishwas in Amethi Lok Sabha constituency this time.

Both Irani and Vishwas had openly challenged Rahul for an open debate in Amethi but so far the Gandhi scion has refused.

The Congress vice-president has won elections twice from Amethi in 2004 and 2009 with huge majority. Prior to Rahul Gandhi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi represented the constituency but later vacated the seat for her son.
Voting in Amethi will take place on May 7.

Rahul’s roadshow in Sultanpur, Gauriganj

Rahul held a roadshow on a 42-km stretch between Amhart in Sultanpur and Gauriganj in Amethi.

The Gandhi family, travelling in a white SUV, received a warm welcome from people who showered flower petals and raised slogans in their favour.
     
Sonia and Rahul paid a visit to a local resident Kamruddin in Panha village and asked about his family's well being.

In an informal chat in Dhammaur area, Priyanka was queried about the BJP fielding Smriti Irani against Rahul.
    
"Everyone who comes to Amethi is welcome. There is an arrangement in democracy for everyone to contest election", Priyanka said.

When asked whether she expects Rahul to win by huge margin, she said, “It will all be known later.”
     
Rahul's roadshow covered 16-km distance in Sultanpur parliamentary constituency.

Locals say it is quite unusual that a Gandhi family member is carrying out such a political procession in support of party candidate against another family member. They have so far refrained from campaigning in each other's constituency.

Rahul's cousin Varun Gandhi is the BJP candidate from Sultanpur. He is pitted against Congress nominee Amita Singh, wife of Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, who had won from the seat in 2009.

Varun, who is the son of Maneka and Sanjay Gandhi, had contested the last Lok Sabha seat from Pilbhit and won by over three lakh votes. After shifting to Sultanpur seat, he has been reaching out to the people telling them that Sultanpur was the 'karmbhoomi" of his late father.
    
Varun has not mentioned BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's name in his campaigning so far.

JPN/Agencies

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