New Delhi: After a long wait, incessant doubts and countless consultations, Rahul Gandhi has finally decided to contest from Wayanad constituency in Kerala.
His decision was announced by Congress leader A. K. Anthony at the AICC office today.
Wayanad, which is a stronghold of the Congress party, shares the border with Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The party believes that if Rahul Gandhi contests from Wayanad, the party can get a geographic and strategic advantage to influence Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The announcement of his candidature comes amid mounting displeasure of Congress ally Muslim League which was annoyed at the unnecessary delay of the decision.
Though, the Congress party is saying that the decision to contest from Wayanad is to show that the party viewed South India seriously, it must be realized that the grand old party fears that it will not perform well in North Indian states.
Besides, Rahul Gandhi’s BJP rival in Amethi, Smriti Irani, is going all out to wrest the seat out of the Congress. In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, she was able to bring down Rahul Gandhi’s majority from 3.70 lakhs votes to just over 1 lakh votes.
She has been aggressively campaigning in Amethi ever since 2014. As the Union Minister, she made sure that many developmental activities were brought to the constituency which has a poor record in development indices.
Rahul Gandhi has been representing Amethi from 2004. Earlier the constituency was represented by his mother Sonia Gandhi, father Rajiv Gandhi and uncle Sanjay Gandhi.
Though his candidature has sent euphoria among the congress workers in the state, the Communist party is worried and feels betrayed. Kerala Chief Minister Pinnarayi Vijayan said that Rahul Gandhi should have contested a seat where BJP was contesting and said that the communist party will fight against him.
CPI(M) former General Secretary Prakash Karat didn’t hide his anguish and said that Congress has gone against the Congress national commitment of fighting against BJP.
Communist leaders know that Kerala is one of the last bastions of theparty in India. With Rahul Gandhi’s candidature in a constituency in Kerala, the communist party fears that they will face a wipe out in the State.