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Rahul files papers for Amethi

Atiq Khan


Elected for the first time from Amethi in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls

Skips media interaction as supporters cause a melee


— PHOTO: SUBIR ROY

IN HIS POCKETBOROUGH: AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi, with his mother Sonia Gandhi, on his way to file his nomination papers for the Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday.

Sultanpur: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Saturday filed his nomination for the Amethi Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh.

His mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and family friend Satish Sharma accompanied him to the Sultanpur Collectorate.

Mr. Gandhi, who is seeking re-election, was elected for the first time from Amethi in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls.

Hugs mother

Four sets of papers were filed before Returning Officer Radhey Shyam. Clad in a white khadi kurta and pyjama, Mr. Gandhi hugged his mother after submitting his papers.

Earlier, Mr. Gandhi’s entourage reached the Collectorate at around 12.30 p.m. and the formalities were over in 15 minutes.

He was supposed to talk to the media but the interaction could not take place as the security arrangements went for a toss, with supporters falling over one another and the mediapersons in a bid to catch a glimpse of Mr. Rahul and Ms. Gandhi.

While the Congress president left for the Fursatganj airport in Rae Bareli district en route to Delhi, Mr. Gandhi left for Faizabad.

In the wake of strict directives from the Election Commission, nomination was a low-key affair with Congress supporters and the media kept out. Poll observers for the constituency Jai Prakash and Usha Titus were present along with the Sultanpur District Magistrate and District Election Officer Ram Krishna Singh.

The Returning Officer told The Hindu that Mr. Gandhi took the mandatory oath and a copy of the Model Code of Conduct was given to him.

Mr. Gandhi landed at the Fursatganj airport around 10.30 p.m. on Friday and stayed at the Munshiganj guest house. Ms. Gandhi arrived in Fursatganj on Saturday morning and reached Munshiganj by helicopter. They then drove down to the Collectorate. On the way the two were greeted by party workers.

Amethi comprises five Assembly segments: Jagdishpur (Reserved), Gauriganj, Amethi, Tiloi and Salon. The first three are in Sultanpur district and the remaining two in neighbouring Rae Bareli district. According to the Sultanpur District Magistrate, Amethi has around 14 lakh voters.

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