A few days ago, a senior Congress leader had commented that even a 'broom' fielded under Congress name can win from Wayanad
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Mullappally Ramachandran said, on Saturday that Congress president Rahul Gandhi has agreed to contest from Wayanad parliamentary constituency in Kerala. Wayanad is considered as one of the few remaining strongholds of the Congress in Kerala.
According to reports, the Congress leadership has been under pressure to field Gandhi from a constituency in southern India, apart from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, as the candidature of Smriti Irani poses a serious threat to Rahul.
“Talks were on about this for almost a month. Initially, he (Rahul Gandhi) was not willing. After much persuasion, he agreed” Mullappally Ramachandran said.
Congress leader ML Shahnawaz was elected from Wayanad in the last two elections with a huge margin. He died six months ago.
T Siddique, a former Youth Congress leader, who had been named as the Congress candidate in Wayanad, has already told media that he has withdrawn from the race. “It was an honour for me and the state,” he said.
There were speculations that the Congress President might contest from a southern seat. "If Rahul contests from anywhere in the south, it will indicate the fall of Congress. The reason is, he is scared of losing Amethi," Karnataka BJP spokesperson G. Madhusudhan had said last week.
Coincidently, a few days ago, while speaking in a news hour debate, a senior Congress leader had commented that even a 'broom' fielded under Congress name can win from Wayanad. The situation has put the CPM and other Left parties in a dilemma whether they should field a Left candidate against their own Prime Ministerial candidate as the CPM fights Congress in the state unlike its counterparts at the national level. At the national level, the CPM and Left parties are projecting Rahul Gandhi as their Prime Ministerial candidate.
Amethi is no more a stronghold for Gandhi dynasty?
As Smriti Irani has emerged as a powerful politician in Amethi in the last five years, the popularity of Rahul Gandhi is fading fast in the constituency that has elected members of the Gandhi family since 1980. In a one-day tour to the constituency in January, Smriti Irani had said that Amethi is no more a stronghold of Rahul as he has lost all elections in the last five years in Amethi. The Congress and Gandhi family have come under attack over lack of development in Amethi. Despite being a VIP constituency for decades, Amethi is still awaiting its redemption.