“Take care of him Wayanad. He won’t let you down,” Priyanka Gandhi, who accompanied her brother Rahul Gandhi to Wayanad, said after he filed his nomination papers for the Lok Sabha elections. Sharing a picture of the Congress chief at District Collector A R Ajayakumar’s office in Wayanad, Priyanka tweeted, “My brother, my truest friend, and by far the most courageous man I know. Take care of him Wayanad, he won’t let you down.”
After filing his nomination, Rahul was accompanied by Priyanka on a roadshow through the lanes of Wayanad. The AICC chief, along with the state leaders including former chief minister Oommen Chandy and Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala, came out in an open vehicle after the formalities were completed. The brother-sister duo shook hands with supporters and clicked pictures with them.
Wayanad will be Rahul’s second seat, apart from his home turf Amethi. Claiming that people in south India feel their culture, language and history in under “attack” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, RSS and the government, Rahul said his nomination was to “send a message that India is one.” He also added that he will not say a word against CPM — Congress’ opposition in Kerala — during his election campaign.
While Priyanka is in-charge of Congress campaign in Uttar Pradesh East, the party has not yet announced if she would contest the polls. However, she has hinted that she is not against the idea of taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Parliamentary constituency, Varanasi. “Shouldn’t I fight from Varanasi?” Priyanka quipped when a party worker asked her to contest from Rae Bareli, the seat currently held by her mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Wayanad is home to Kerala’s largest tribal population which constitutes 18 per cent of the district’s vote share. Rahul is pitted against P P Suneer of the CPI and Thushar Vellappally of the NDA. Solar scam accused Saritha Nair will also take on the Congress chief as an Independent.
Wayanad goes to polls on April 23 while Amethi will vote on May 6. The results will be declared on May 23.