The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been making consistent efforts to wrest the two seats, including fielding Irani against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in the 2014 polls.
The Congress on Thursday named United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi as its candidate from Rae Bareli, along with its first list of 15 candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The list also includes party president Rahul Gandhi, who will contest from Amethi—the seat he has held for last three terms as a member of parliament.
The Gandhi matriarch's announcement has ended all speculation that she may not contest in the upcoming polls due to health reasons and the seat may go to the party's newly-appointed general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, who is also in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Sonia Gandhi has held Rae Bareli since 2004, including in 2014 Lok Sabha polls when the Congress tally in Uttar Pradesh was reduced to just two seats—the other seat being Rahul Gandhi's Amethi.