New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi is going to contest the Lok Sabha election this time from two constituencies. On Saturday, Kerala Congress president Mullappally Ramachandran informed the press about the second seat. Ramachandran said that Congress president Gandhi will contest from the Wayanad parliamentary seat, considered to be a party stronghold in Kerala. The Kerala Congress president said that Gandhi was ready for this.
The Congress leadership was under pressure from the workers from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala for the past several weeks. They said Gandhi should be fielded in any of the southern constituencies besides Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi parliamentary constituency.
The BJP would like people to believe that Smriti Irani, who had drastically reduced Gandhi’s victory margin in 2014 from the 2009 level, poses a real threat to the Congress president this time, which is why the opposition party is looking for a face-saver. Since Ramachandran made the comment above, supporters of the BJP have been saying so on Twitter.
After sensing a clear defeat in Amethi, Rahul Gandhi is looking for a safe seat in Kerala. @priyankac19 What do we call him now?
रणछोड़ राहुल? https://t.co/M0OIAAA7Nh
— Shashi Kumar (@iShashiShekhar) March 23, 2019
However, the Congress says its victory in Amethi is beyond doubt. A source in the party said they would like to field Gandhi from Wayanad to motivate the south Indian cadre.
Ramachandran said, “The conversation was going on for about a month; he (Gandhi) was not interested. But he finally agreed.”
After the delimitation of Lok Sabha constituencies, the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat came into existence in 2008. It is composed of Kannur, Malappuram and Wayanad Assembly areas. Congress leader ML Shahnawaz won this seat in the last two terms.
Wayanad not confirmed yet
The All India Congress Committee general secretary Oommen Chandy said, “The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has requested Congress president Rahul Gandhi to fight from a seat in Kerala. They offered the Wayanad seat. Rahul Gandhi’s reply can come at any time today.”
AICC General Secy Oommen Chandy: We're requesting Rahul Gandhi to contest from South India. We requested him to contest from Wayanad constituency. We hope decision will be positive. I've discussed it with the proposed candidate for Wayanad constituency & he welcomed it. #Kerala pic.twitter.com/KNttDug1r0
— ANI (@ANI) March 23, 2019
Former Youth Congress president T Siddiqui was named as the party candidate in this seat, but he withdrew before the race. While announcing his withdrawal from the election in Kozhikode, he said, “It will be a matter of respect for me and the state”, referring to the possibility that Gandhi could contest from Kerala besides repeating Amethi of Uttar Pradesh.