Rae Bareli: UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to file her nomination papers for the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday. She will also hold a 700-metre road show in the state before filing the nomination, according to party spokesman LKP Singh. Later, the Congress leader, along with her family members will take part in a ‘havan’ at the part’s central office.

Sonia Gandhi is trying to retain the seat for the fifth time. This time, she will contest against Dinesh Pratap Singh, who had recently joined the BJP after leaving the Congress. The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party have not fielded any candidate in this Congress bastion.

Notably, this particular seat will head for voting in the fifth phase on May 6. Sonia Gandhi had won the seat in 2004, 2006 (bypolls), 2009 and 2014. In 2014, there were 15.94 lakh voters in the constituency and the poll percentage was 51.73 per cent, in which Sonia Gandhi had got 5,26,434 votes.

Since 1957, the Congress has won the seat 19 times, including three by-elections, and lost the seat only three times — 1977, 1996 and 1998. In 1977, after Emergency, Bharatiya Lok Dal’s Raj Narain had defeated the then prime minister Indira Gandhi. In 1996 and 1998, BJP candidate Ashok Kumar Singh won the seat.

The constituency has five assembly segments namely Bachhrawan, Harchandpur, Rae Bareli, Sareni and Unchahar. So far, in the past, the seat was represented by Feroze Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Arun Nehru, Sheila Kaul and Satish Sharma.

The voting for the assembly elections 2019 has begun on Thursday, i.e., April 11 with four states including Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Odisha going to polls in the first phase. The results of state assemblies will be declared on May 23, 2019, along with Lok Sabha polls.

(With agency inputs)