Flanked by his family members -- sister, brother-in-law and even nephew and niece -- Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday kicked-off his road show here before filing his nomination papers for Amethi Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh.Accompanied by his sister and party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, brother-in-law Robert Vadra, nephew Rehan and niece Miraya, the Congress President arrived at the Munshiganj guest house at around 10.30 a.m. where he was received by senior Congress leader Pramod Tiwari. He then left for Gauriganj -- district headquarters of Amethi -- where he kicked-off his 16 km-long road show at around 11.45 a.m.Thousands of supporters gave Rahul Gandhi a rousing welcome and showered his cavalcade with flower petals and cheered him on with slogans like 'Desh ka PM kaisa ho, Rahul Gandhi jaisa ho'. The Congress workers braved the heat to carry placards of the major promises mentioned in the Congress manifesto.
Traffic in Gauriganj came to a standstill as Rahul Gandhi began his road show.The road show started off near the Punjab National Bank crossing and will conclude at the District Magistrate's office, covering a distance of about five km.The Congress President's mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi went directly to the Collector's office and would be by his side when he files the nomination papers.Rahul Gandhi is facing a stiff competition in Amethi from Bharatiya Janata Party's Smriti Irani, who is contesting against him for the second time. She lost to Rahul Gandhi in 2014 by a margin of over one lakh votes.Rahul Gandhi has represented Amethi since 2004. Before him, Amethi was represented by Sonia Gandhi.Besides Amethi, Rahul Gandhi is also contesting from Kerala's Wayanad parliamentary constituency.Elections in Amethi will be held in the fifth phase on May 6. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.