The suspense over two high-profile Lok Sabha seats ended on Monday after Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge announced that Rahul Gandhi will retain the family bastion of Raebareli while his sister, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, will make her electoral debut from Wayanad.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge with party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi during a press conference, in New Delhi on Monday. Rahul Gandhi retains his Rae Bareli seat while his sister and party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra contests from Wayanad Lok Sabha seat.

India allows people to contest from two constituencies but they can only represent one in parliament. Rahul Gandhi had to vacate one of the seats won by him within 14 days of the Lok Sabha results, which came out on June 4.

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“Party has decided that Rahul Gandhi should retain Rae Bareli seat since Rae Bareli has been close to him from before, that (area) has great attachment to the family, they have been fighting (in elections) from there for generations. Party feels it would be in the betterment of the party if he retains Rae Bareli,” Kharge reporters on Monday evening.

“He also received love and affection from people of Wayanad. They also want Rahul ji should keep Wayanad. But the law doesn’t allow it. So, after a lot of thinking, we have decided that Priyanka Gandhi should contest from Wayanad,” the Congress chief added.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has not contested elections herself before but has been a formidable campaigner for her brother, mother, and other party members over the years. If elected, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will join her brother Rahul and mother Sonia Gandhi in Parliament, marking the first time all three members of the Gandhi family will serve simultaneously.

Read: BJP labels Congress as ‘family business’ after Priyanka Gandhi’s Wayanad move

Priyanka Gandhi said she will not let the people of Wayanad feel Rahul’s absence.

“I am very happy to be able to represent Wayanad. All I’ll say is that I won’t let them feel his absence. As he said he will come many times with me. But I will work as hard and I will try my best to make everybody happy and be a good representative.

“I have a good relation with Rae Bareli as I have worked there for 20 years and that relation will never break,” Priyanka Gandhi said in her brief remarks.

Asked if she was nervous as she would be making her electoral debut in Wayanad, she said, “Not at all, I’m not nervous at all.”

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