Sonia files nomination for Rae Bareli
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Seeking re-election, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday filed her nomination papers from Rae Bareli, one of two seats in the Nehru-Gandhi family's pocketborough, in the presence of her son and party leader Rahul Gandhi.
Draped in a checked cotton saree, 62-year-old Sonia, who won her first eelctions from neighbouring Amethi in 1999, came to the Returning Officer's office here in a cavalcade.
Sonia was given a rousing reception by enthusiastic party workers who showered rose petals on her car on the way to the office of the returning officer where the Congress President filed the nomination papers.
Following the traditions of the Nehru-Gandhi family, Sonia and Rahul attended a puja at the Congress office here before they left for filing nominations.
Carrying placards with pictures of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, party workers shouted slogans praising their leaders and waved Congress flags.
Sonia is seeking mandate from Rae Bareli for the third time. She had won from here in 2004 and resigned from the post after the office-of-profit controversy erupted. She won by a thumping margin in the 2006 by-elections.
The constituency was represented by Sonia's mother-in-law and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Indira lost the 1977 general elections from Rae Bareli to Raj Narayan.
Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi, CLP leader Pramod Tiwari and Capt. Satish Sharma were also present during the filing of the nomination papers.
Party MLAs - Ashok Kumar Singh, Siv Ganesh Lodi and Raja Ram Tyagi along with the District Congress President Uma Shankar Mishra proposed Sonia's candidature. The entire procedure hardly took 15 minutes.
Sonia started her short journey to the returning officer's office from a guest house in Munshiganj, where her family members usually stay when they come to the constituency.
A sea of Congress supporters followed the vehicle of Gandhi, shouting slogans and flashing placards.