Kerala state Congress unit has urged party national president Rahul Gandhi that he should contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections from Wayanad constituency. As Congress national leadership in Delhi indicated that Gandhi is seriously considering Wayanad, the party leaders in Kerala are excited. Congress-led UDF convener Benny Behanan said a formal announcement would come soon.
While speaking to reporters in Pathanamthitta district, AICC General Secretary Oommen Chandy earlier today said there is a demand from party leaders that Gandhi should contest from any of the South Indian Lok Sabha seats and added that “we have requested Gandhi to contest from Wayanad seat.” Chandy, however, said, “He (Gandhi) has not commented on the request so far. But we expect that there would be a positive response.” READ in Malayalam
Earlier this month, the Congress had announced that Gandhi will contest from his bastion Amethi and Sonia Gandhi from Rae Bareli.
The Congress is contesting on 16 out of 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala and has so far announced the names of 14 candidates. The grand old party is yet to declare its candidate from Wayanad.
Meanwhile, Ramesh Chennithala, the leader of opposition in the State Assembly, revealed that he had requested Gandhi to contest from Wayanad when the Congress president visited Kerala recently to launch the party’s election campaign. He also said the matter was discussed with senior party leaders, including A K Antony.
“I once again request Gandhi to contest from Wayanad. Congress president contesting from Lok Sabha seats in South India and North India will strengthen national unity and integration,” Chennithala said.
Responding to Congress’ proposal, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the LDF was the main political force in his state. “Gandhi is not coming to fight the BJP here, but the LDF,” he told reporters in Kannur. “Congress needs to think what is the message they are trying to send out. The message is that it is not the BJP they are fighting, but the LDF,” he said.
According to party leaders, Gandhi’s candidature from Wayanad will energise the Congress party in South India and thus the party can win a majority of seats from the region.
The Congress had earlier proposed T Siddique, the Kozhikode DCC president, for the Wayanad seat but he has backed out. Siddique said he also wants Gandhi to contest from the Wayanad seat.
Similarly, the Congress state units in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have also demanded that the party chief contest the Lok Sabha elections from the respective states.
With PTI inputs