The Hush Post: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will spend his MP area development funds in Sonia Gandhi’s constituency. This move is being seen to confront the former UPA chairperson in her home ground — Rae Bareli in the 2019 elections.
As per a spokesperson of the BJP, a month back Jaitley chose Rae Bareli district since he is a Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh.
The backwardness of the district is what prompted Jaitley to choose Rae Barelli. Despite being represented by someone of the stature of Sonia Gandhi it remains backward, was the reason attributed. Various demands have been originating from here which prompted the FM to choose Rae Barelli.
Under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), each MP has the choice to suggest to the district collector for works to the tune of Rs 5 crore per annum to be taken up in his/her constituency.
A Rajya Sabha MP can recommend works in one or more districts in the state from where he/she has been elected.
Bajpai said, “The Union finance minister may tour Rae Bareli sometime in November.”
However, he ruled out any possibility of a direct electoral fight in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections between Sonia Gandhi and Arun Jaitley. “He (Jaitley) will not contest the Lok Sabha elections, but will strengthen the BJP in the Congress bastion,” Jaitley’s representative said.
The people in Rae Bareli have been demanding a stadium, a university, solar lights and solar energy-operated pumps in remote parts of the district, Bajpai said. He added that efforts would be made to fulfil all the incomplete works in the district so that people could heave a sigh of relief.
He also said Rs 2.5 crore had already reached the chief development officer of Rae Bareli (the nodal person to carry out the works using the MPLADS funds).
Rae Bareli is represented by Sonia Gandhi as MP, and the neighbouring parliamentary constituency of Amethi is represented by her son Rahul Gandhi.
Jaitley’s representative also said, “This will help the BJP achieve its mission of bagging more than 73 Lok Sabha seats from UP in the 2019 general elections.” Uttar Pradesh sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha.
In the 2014 parliamentary elections, the BJP won 71 seats, its ally Apna Dal got two, while the SP bagged five and the Congress won the remaining two.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Sonia Gandhi had bagged about 5,26,000 votes and defeated her BJP rival by a margin of 3,52,000 votes.