Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has decided to spend his MP area development funds on Rae Bareli. Although the move doesn’t confirm an epic Sonia Gandhi vs Arun Jaitley battle in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, it definitely shows the BJP’s covet to defeat the Gandhi’s at their own backyard.
'Representative' of Arun Jaitley and UP BJP spokesperson Hero Bajpai said that the minister will spend his MP area development funds on Rae Bareli, a move being seen as the BJP’s attempt to breach the Gandhi bastion.
"Almost a month back, Jaitley had chosen Rae Bareli district as a Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh. The backwardness of the district despite being represented by a prominent political family and the various demands which have been emanating from the district, prompted Jaitley ji to choose this," PTI quoted Bajpai as saying.
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.
Not just that, Jaitley may even start campaigning in the Rae Bareli as early as the first week of November.
"The Union finance minister may tour Rae Bareli in the first or second week of November," he said.
Although Bajpai ruled out any possibility of an epic battle in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections between Sonia Gandhi and Arun Jaitley, he said that minister will strengthen the party there.
"He (Jaitley) will not contest the Lok Sabha elections, but will strengthen the BJP in the Congress bastion," Jaitley's representative said.
Rae Bareli is currently represented by Sonia Gandhi in the Lok Sabha, while the neighbouring parliamentary constituency of Amethi is represented by Rahul Gandhi (current Congress president).