Amethi, on Thursday, snapped its 39 years long relationship with the Gandhi family -- a relationship that was filled with emotions and nurtured with emotions.
The victory of BJP's Smriti Irani and defeat of Rahul Gandhi is not just the result of an electoral battle -- it is much more than that.
Bechu Khan, a businessman in Jagdishpur, aptly summed up the result when he said: "Amethi is witnessing a generational shift. The new generation has little room for emotions and is more concerned about its future which they saw in Smriti Irani and the BJP.
कौन कहता है आसमां में सुराख नहीं हो सकता ...— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) May 23, 2019
"This new generation has not seen Rajiv Gandhi connect with the local people. They have not seen how Sanjay Gandhi made Amethi important so they do not have an emotional relationship with the Gandhi family."
For the people of Amethi, development has rarely been an issue. "For us, the identity was more important. Wherever we went across the country and said that we were from Amethi, we would get respect and local Congressmen would reach out to help us. This mattered more for the local people," said Shiv Nath Shukla, a lawyer from Gauriganj.
I accept the verdict of the people of India 🇮🇳— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 23, 2019
Congratulations to the winners, Mr Modi & the NDA.
Thank you to the people of Wayanad for electing me as your MP.
Thank you also to the people of Amethi.
Thank you Congress workers & leaders for your hard work in this campaign.
Then what made Amethi ditch the Gandhis this time?
The local people say that it is the young voters who are responsible for electing Smriti Irani.
"She reached out to them, helped them get scholarships, jobs etc. In her, they saw a hope for their future. The local BJP leaders acted as a bridge between Smriti Irani and the people. This time, Amethi has voted for its own interest," said Ram Sevak, a Congress worker from Musafirkhana.
Finally the people of #Amethi have put an end to dynasty politics, अमेठी के लोगों के साथ #AbHogaNyay. Big congratulations @smritiirani ji on this remarkable verdict, you stood like a Durga despite all their attempts to malign you. We are all so proud of you. #VijayiBharat— Vivek Anand Oberoi (@vivekoberoi) May 23, 2019
Moreover, Irani kept campaigning in Amethi even after she lost the seat in 2014 by a margin of over one lakh votes. She would regularly visit the constituency and point out Rahul Gandhi's absence. People from Amethi had easy access to her in Delhi, too.
Amethi was first won by the Congress in 1980 and has remained with the Congress, barring one year when the BJP won the seat.
In 1980, Sanjay Gandhi had won the seat but after his death, Rajiv Gandhi won the seat in a by-election in 1981. Rajiv Gandhi retained the seat in 1984, 1989 and in 1991.
Union Minister Smriti Irani offers prayers at a temple in Amethi; she is leading by 48078 votes in the parliamentary constituency. Congress President Rahul Gandhi, outgoing Amethi MP, has conceded defeat pic.twitter.com/uqxGzt7eNX— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 23, 2019
After @narendramodi the day belongs to @smritiirani. Huge huge win in taking #Amethi from @RahulGandhi and beating him on his own turf. Catapults Ms Irani into the top stratosphere of the BJP #IndianElections2019 #Verdict2019— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) May 23, 2019
Congratulations, @smritiirani! I traveled with you to Amethi in 2014 when you began your campaign first time. Interviewed you for a special show on @TimesNow. What a fight it has been! A girl from a middle class family becoming a Lok Sabha MP through hard work & determination.— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) May 23, 2019
In 1991 and 1996, Captain Satish Sharma, a friend of the Gandhi family won the seat but in 1998, the BJP wrest the seat when Sanjay Singh was elected.
A year later, Sonia Gandhi entered politics and won the Amethi seat which she retained till 2004. Rahul Gandhi won the seat in 2004, 2009 and 2014.
Remember the Aunty National headline by The Telegraph against Smriti Irani?— Anshul Saxena (@AskAnshul) May 23, 2019
Remember Priyanka asking Smriti 'who'?
Today, Smriti Irani defeated Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Member of Parliament from Amethi.
Now, Waiting for Navjot Singh Sidhu to quit Politics.
I will quit politics, if Rahul Gandhi loses Amethi: Navjot Singh Sidhu— Kabir Goswami (@kabirgoswami) May 23, 2019
@sherryontopp time for you to go back to the ‘Thoko Taali’ show. 🤣 #ModiPhirSe
@INCIndia @Shehzad_Ind @SureshNakhua @RahulGandhi https://t.co/KntOiHUOFh
Rahul Gandhi loses Amethi. Bigger story than modi winning with a massive majority— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) May 23, 2019
A decade old bastion has been demolished by delivering results and keeping up of promises. She was mocked in 2014 for her candidature against Gandhi, in 2016 as HRD Minister, and she stood tall against all those critics.— Mrinal 🇮🇳 (@MrinalP13) May 23, 2019
Here she is, MP of #Amethi #SmritiIrani pic.twitter.com/CgjnmMdHnm
u have not just won, you have created history and inspired millions of Indians. big congrats on your huge victory in Amethi @smritiirani ma'am. Keep up the good work!— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) May 23, 2019