Written byShalini Ojha
Unsurprisingly, BJP leaders said Rahul feared losing Amethi and Wayanad, which is a safe seat, may become his face-saver.
But Rahul isn't the only one who shies away from competition. Several political stalwarts choose a similar path.
Here are five of them.
Since Rahul is in news, let's start with him. Congress leaders in the state opined Rahul's candidature will galvanize workers. After the announcement, elated workers even said he just has to file a "nomination".
Wayanad has always voted for Congress traditionally. Even a lesser-known Congress candidate has fair chances of winning from there.
Shouldn't the Amethi MP have taken up a non-bastion this time?
BJP President Amit Shah is jumping into Lok Sabha battle for the first time. And he chose Gandhinagar.
LK Advani won from Gandhinagar six times and Atal Bihari Vajpayee was elected from there once. In the last three decades, Gandhinagar has never voted for a non-BJP candidate.
Shah losing from a BJP bastion is highly unlikely. Can't take any risks in the first innings right, Shah?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also chose a safe seat-Varanasi.
In 1989, Varanasi chose a Janata Dal leader and in 2004 voted for a Congress candidate. Apart from these exceptions, the holy town has always elected BJP.
While PM Modi's candidature from Varanasi in 2014 helped BJP drastically, this time it seems more of a formality. A candidate of his stature should have surely opted for a challenge.
Azamgarh, which has a mix of Muslims, Dalits, and Yadavs, has voted for either SP or BSP since 1996, except for 2009 when a BJP candidate won.
The grand alliance would ensure Akhilesh gets BSP's votes. It will be hardly surprising if he sails through easily.
SP patriarch Mulayam will fight polls from Mainpuri, a seat which has voted for his party since 1996.
Mainpuri has nearly 35% Yadavs, the conventional voters of SP, hence Mulayam's win is almost certain.
In many cases, Opposition parties don't even field a challenging leader opposite a stalwart, making the win easier.
This trend only confirms one thing: While the biggies take attention with their rallies and speeches, the fate of elections largely depends on second-tier contestants.
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