BJP’s Smriti Irani Loses Amethi Seat to Congress, Reflecting Electoral Dynamics in Uttar Pradesh

BJP's Smriti Irani loses Amethi seat by nearly 1.7 lakh votes, marking a significant electoral setback.

In a dramatic turn of events, Union Minister Smriti Irani of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) faced a significant defeat in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi constituency, losing by nearly 1.7 lakh votes to Congress candidate Kishori Lal Sharma. This outcome marks a notable reversal of fortune for Irani, who had secured a historic victory in 2019 by defeating then Congress president Rahul Gandhi in the same constituency.

The Amethi Lok Sabha seat has long been considered a stronghold of the Indian National Congress, with the Gandhi family exerting considerable influence in the region. However, Smriti Irani’s triumph in 2019, where she overcame Rahul Gandhi by over 50,000 votes, signaled a major breakthrough for the BJP in this traditional Congress bastion. The Congress has previously lost the seat only twice, notably in 1977 when Sanjay Gandhi was defeated by the Janata Party’s Ravindra Pratap Singh, and in 1984 when Maneka Gandhi lost to Rahul’s father, Rajiv Gandhi.

The electoral battle in Amethi during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections witnessed high stakes and intense campaigning. Smriti Irani’s defeat this time around underscores the shifting political dynamics in Uttar Pradesh, a state that holds immense significance with its 80 Lok Sabha seats. The Congress’ decision to field Kishori Lal Sharma, a loyalist with deep ties to the Gandhi family, reflects a strategic move aimed at reclaiming the traditional stronghold.

Kishori Lal Sharma, hailing from Ludhiana in Punjab, has been instrumental in Sonia Gandhi’s electoral victories in Amethi since 1999. His political journey in the region began in 1983, and his unwavering support for the Gandhi family has solidified his position as a key figure in Amethi’s political landscape. The contest between Sharma and Irani was closely watched, with allegations from the BJP that Rahul Gandhi was avoiding his constituency.

The outcome in Amethi also challenges the predictions of exit polls, which had anticipated a sweeping victory for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Instead, the final results showcase a tough fight put up by the opposition INDIA bloc, with the Samajwadi Party (SP) leading in 37 seats against the BJP’s 33 in Uttar Pradesh. The Congress, despite its loss in Amethi, is leading in six seats.

In addition to the high-profile contest in Amethi, other electoral battles in Uttar Pradesh have also captured attention. Prime Minister Narendra Modi secured victory in his constituency, defeating Congress’ Ajay Rai by over 1.5 lakh votes. These results underscore the complex electoral landscape of Uttar Pradesh, where regional dynamics and candidate selection play crucial roles in shaping outcomes.

As the dust settles on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the defeat of Smriti Irani in Amethi stands out as a significant moment, signaling the resilience and adaptability of political forces in Uttar Pradesh. The victory of Kishori Lal Sharma and the performance of other parties highlight the fluidity of electoral dynamics and the importance of grassroots connections in Indian politics.

Aryan Jakhar
Aryan Jakhar
Aryan Jakhar, an Indian journalist, founded Business Headline and The Shining Media Group. Previously, he contributed to Indian media outlets including BusinessUpturn, Inc42, and the India Today Group.

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