Out of the 51 constituencies across 7 states going to vote in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha election on May 6, Amethi is perhaps the most talked about and high-profile seat. Amethi and Raebareli are the only two seats in Uttar Pradesh where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress are locked in a direct fight.
Both the seats have been Congress strongholds for several Lok Sabha elections. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will contest for the fourth time from Amethi against BJP leader Smriti Irani while UPA chief Sonia Gandhi will be contesting from the Raebareli seat.
However, the wind in Amethi this election is not blowing all the way towards the Congress chief and even he seems to have guessed it now.
Despite losing to Rahul in 2014 by a huge margin in Amethi, Irani has been very active for the last five years in the constituency thus making this election a tough battle for the Congress chief.
While Rahul toured the entire nation ignoring his constituency, Irani snatched the opportunity and introduced several welfare schemes for the people in the area. In several Amethi villages, Irani claims to have constructed toilets, homes under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY) and made solar lights available to the people.
Irani has also tried to make a dent in the traditional Congress vote bank. Generally, the votes of the Brahmins are cast for the Gandhi family but this election the mood of the community is not so clear.
The electoral mood in Amethi speaks volumes about Rahul's decision to contest from Kerala's Wayanad seat. In the last 15 days, Zee News travelled to the interiors of villages in Amethi and the people have questions on their mind asking if Rahul is indeed losing from Amethi. The decision of Rahul to contest from Wayanad seems to have put the Congress on the back foot in Amethi.