While Congress president Rahul Gandhi is all set to seek re-election to the Lok Sabha from Amethi, his mother Sonia Gandhi, UPA chairperson, is unlikely to stand for the Lok Sabha, sources said. If Mrs Gandhi finally opts out of the contest, the Gandhi clan could look for a “suitable” replacement for her Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat. There is speculation that the constituency, which has been represented by Mrs Gandhi for a long time, could go to her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. “But that will depend on whether she really wants to get into active politics,” a senior Congress leader said, referring to Priyanka.
The Congress is, meanwhile, planning strategic alliances in several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, but it will only do so with “like-minded outfits”, the sources said, adding that in Maharashtra it will not have any alliance with the Shiv Sena. In Delhi, it is yet to take a final call on a possible alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party.
While the Congress continues to work on plans for a grand alliance against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP, the party indicated its PM candidate could be decided after the 2019 general election.