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Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi Engineer Congress Comeback in 2024 Lok Sabha Elections

As the results for the Lok Sabha elections 2024 were announced on June 4, it became undeniably clear to the people of India that Rahul Gandhi has finally arrived on the national political stage with fervor. Together with his sister Priyanka Gandhi, Rahul led the Congress party from the front and scripted an impressive comeback for the Grand Old Party. Congress, which had been reduced to just 44 seats in 2014 and managed to secure only 52 seats in 2019, performed significantly better in 2024 by winning 99 seats.

The credit for this dramatic revival is largely attributed to the strategic campaigning designed and executed by Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi. At 53, Rahul, now arguably in his political prime, managed to reconnect with disillusioned voters through his Bharat Jodo Yatra and Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. Throughout these tours, he consistently attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The first Bharat Jodo Yatra spanned the length of the country, commencing from Kanyakumari and concluding in Srinagar. Meanwhile, the second iteration, the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, started in Manipur and ended in Mumbai. Notably, Congress won both seats in Manipur and emerged as the single largest party in Maharashtra, securing 13 out of 48 seats.

Priyanka Gandhi played an equally pivotal role in Congress’ resurgence. She assumed the position of ‘campaigner-in-chief’ and took on the formidable task of disseminating the party’s message to the electorate. Priyanka demonstrated her political savvy by countering PM Modi’s criticisms with sharp and pointed retorts. For example, Priyanka effectively neutralized Modi’s claim that Congress planned to redistribute Indian wealth among Muslims and seize the ‘mangalsutras’ of Hindu women by highlighting her family’s sacrifices for the nation. She recounted how her grandmother, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, donated her gold during wartime, and her mother Sonia Gandhi sacrificed her mangalsutra for the country. “When there was a war, my grandmother donated her gold to the country. My mother’s mangalsutra was sacrificed for this country,” Priyanka stated on the campaign trail.

Throughout her efforts, Priyanka remained laser-focused on critical issues such as unemployment, rising inflation, and the controversial Agniveer scheme.

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. Her ability to resonate with voters on these issues played a crucial role in the Congress’ success.

Rahul Gandhi’s transformation into a mature political leader was a hallmark of this election cycle. His consistent engagement with various societal segments allowed him to better understand the electorate’s concerns. Additionally, Rahul succeeded in setting a narrative that resonated deeply with many voters: he raised alarm bells that a BJP with over 400 seats could potentially amend the Constitution to eliminate reservations for OBCs, SCs, and STs. This relentless narrative led the BJP to abandon their ‘Abki Baar 400 Paar’ slogan after just two phases of voting. By then, however, the damage was done, as Rahul’s message had penetrated rural areas nationwide. The stellar performance of the INDIA alliance in states like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Haryana further validated this strategy.

A key element of the Congress’ success was Rahul Gandhi’s pledge to transfer money to poor women upon coming to power. This promise created a compelling narrative, leaving the BJP stunned and, for the first time in a decade, playing catch-up.

A strategic masterstroke in this election was Congress’ approach to the Gandhi family bastions of Amethi and Raebareli. In 2019, Rahul Gandhi was defeated by BJP’s Smriti Irani in Amethi. This time, Congress decided not to field Rahul from Amethi; instead, they placed their trust in Gandhi family loyalist KL Sharma, who triumphed over Irani by an unprecedented margin of over 1,60,000 votes. Rahul chose to contest from Raebareli, a neighboring seat held by Sonia Gandhi for over two decades. Priyanka campaigned intensively in both constituencies, and her efforts paid off handsomely: Congress reclaimed Amethi from BJP, and Rahul won Raebareli with a massive margin of over 390,000 votes.

In conclusion, the 2024 Lok Sabha elections marked a defining moment for Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi. Their strategic foresight, relentless campaigning, and focus on crucial issues have not only revived the Congress party but also redefined the political landscape of India. As the dust settles, the Grand Old Party stands rejuvenated and ready for the challenges ahead.