Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday campaigned in Bellary but not without making a gaffe at his family connection with the mining town that reckoned the fortunes of BJP in the last one decade.
In a fit of correlation, he said, “There is an old relationship between Bellary and my family. Indira Gandhi was fighting election from here and Sonia Gandhi also fought from here. We have a very old relationship with Bellary and you have supported us.”
But Indira Gandhi never fought from Bellary but from Chickmagalur in 1978 duing the erstwhile Janata Party rule in 1978 and won it hands down.
In fact, Sonia Gandhi had contested from Bellary in the 1999 Lok Sabha polls after local MP K.C.Kondaiah invited her to win from the southern seat. Sonia had defeated BJP’s senior leader Sushma Swaraj in a prestigious battle that paved the way for her to make a parliamentary debut but she opted for Rae Bareilly, instead.
Otherwise, Rahul Gandhi is the fifth member of the Gandhi family to visit and campaign for Congress from Bellary, after Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, his mother Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Gandhi in 1999 when Sonia Gandhi contested from here.
Bellary, that was a strong Congress bastion until 2004, passed into the mining barons who supported BJP that had wrested the seat in the 2009 polls defeating the Congress candidate by a narrow margin of 2,243 votes.