Sonia Gandhi and Smriti Irani perform ‘pooja’ ahead of filing their nominations from Rae Bareli and Amethi, respectively. (ANI)
While Sonia performed ‘haven’ with son and Congress president Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra by her side, Smriti was accompanied by her husband Zubin Irani.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Union Minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani Thursday performed ‘pooja’ ahead of filing their nominations from Rae Bareli and Amethi parliamentary constituencies, respectively. While Sonia performed ‘havan’ with son and Congress president Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra by her side, Smriti was accompanied by her husband Zubin Irani.
Before filing nomination, Sonia is scheduled to undertake a 700-metre roadshow. On Wednesday, the Congress president had filed his nomination from Amethi, days after filing the papers from Wayanad in Kerala. After this, Gandhi held a road show with sister Priyanka, her husband Robert Vadra and their children Raihan and Miraya. Sonia did not participate in the roadshow though she was present when Rahul filed his nomination papers.
Both Rae Bareli and Amethi vote on May 6, in the fifth phase of the seven-phased general elections. Irani faces a tough fight against Rahul, whereas Rae Bareli will see a straight contest between Sonia and Dinesh Pratap Singh, who recently quit the Congress to join the BJP.
BJP leaders said Smriti will be accompanied by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath while filing her nomination. It is virtually a Gandhi versus Irani fight as the SP-BSP-RLD opposition alliance in Uttar Pradesh has decided not to field a candidate on the seat.
Voting for the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections began Thursday, with union ministers General V K Singh, Mahesh Sharma and Satyapal Singh, and one former minister, Sanjeev Balyan, fighting to retain their seats in Uttar Pradesh where voting is being held for eight constituencies.