• Monday, June 17, 2024


India polls: Rahul Gandhi votes; foreign media call him Modi’s ‘struggling rival’

The former president of India’s opposition Indian National Congress was seen with his mother Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her family.

Leaders of India’s opposition Indian National Congress Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi take a selfie showing their ink-marked fingers after casting their vote for the sixth phase of the general elections in New Delhi on May 25, 2024. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

RAHUL GANDHI, leader of India’s opposition Indian National Congress which has ruled the country for most part since its Independence in 1947 but has failed to meet electoral challenges in times of prime minister Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on Saturday (25) cast his ballot in the ongoing general elections in New Delhi amid hot temperatures.

AFP reported about it and called him one of Modi’s ‘struggling rivals’, the other being Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party, which is in power in the state of Delhi.

The 53-year-old leader, whose great-grandfather, grandmother and father had been India’s prime ministers, was accompanied by his mother Sonia Gandhi, also a politician, and took a selfie with her. He did not speak to reporters, however.

He was also seen with his sister Priyank Gandhi Vadra, also a front-line leader of the Congress who however shuns contesting elections, her entrepreneur husband Robert Vadra and their two children, Raihan, 23, and Miraya, 21. All of them also cast their ballots during the day.

Read: Arvind Kejriwal casts ballot in New Delhi, says people voting against ‘dictatorship’

Rahul Gandhi is contesting from two constituencies in this year’s general elections like in 2019 and the two seats are Wayanad in the southern state of Kerala that he represents in the Lok Sabha or Lower House of the parliament and Rae Bareli, a family bastion of the Gandhis in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh which an ailing Sonia Gandhi vacated this year as she decided against contesting elections.

Leaders of India's opposition Congress Rahul Gandhi on way to casting ballots in general elections with his sister Priyank Gandhi Vadra (in blue) and her family.
Indian National Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (c), party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (in blue) with her husband Robert Vadra (extreme right) and their children Raihan Rajiv Vadra (in black) and Miraya Vadra (extreme left) arrive to cast their votes at a polling booth for the sixth phase of Indian general elections 2024, in New Delhi on May 25, 2024. (ANI Photo)

In 2019, he won Wayanad but lost in his previous seat of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh which he had represented three times between 2004 and 2014.

Read: India PM on why opposition attack him often: ‘Because Modi is such a brand…’

Last year, Rahul Gandhi was convicted of criminal libel after a complaint by a member of the BJP. 

His two-year prison sentence saw him getting disqualified from parliament until the verdict was suspended by the Supreme Court of India.

Kejriwal also cast his ballot in the national capital the same day with his family and said he voted against “dictatorship, unemployment and inflation”, taking an indirect dig at Modi and his government.

Saturday marked the sixth and penultimate phase of the national election. Fifty-eight constituencies went to polls in this phase. The final phase will be held on June 1 and the results will be announced on June 4.

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