Congress President Rahul Gandhi will contest from two parliamentary seats, Amethi in Uttar Pradesh and Wayanad in Kerala.
Announcing the news, Congress leader AK Antony said that the Congress president had consented to contest from two seats. “I am very happy to inform you that he will also contest from Wayanad in Kerala.”
Antony said that Wayanad constituency was a ‘tri-junction’ as it shared borders with Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. He said, “In Karnataka, the nearest constituency is Chamrajanagar, but, border to the entire old Mysore. So it is a tri-junction situated in Kerala, but, served by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. So, all of us felt, that was ideal state constituency that will in a way satisfy the sentiments of all the three southern states. So, finally decided, Rahul Gandhi Ji will contest from Wayanad parliamentary constituency in Kerala.”
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that Amethi will always be Gandhi’s karmbhoomi, and he will never desert that constituency.
“People from Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu always demanded that Rahul Gandhi contest from their states. That’s why Rahul Gandhi has decided to contest from Wayanad, which connects these three states,” Surjewala said.
He said that the decision by Gandhi will help strengthen the bond between north and south India.
When asked if Gandhi was not sure about his winning chances in Amethi, Surjewala said, “Will the BJP explain why Narendra Modi deserted Gujarat. Was he not sure about winning from there? This is a childish talk.”
He said that the relationship that Gandhi shared with the people of Amethi were not going to be severed because of the ‘dirty conspiracy’ of the BJP. The BJP has fielded its Union Minister Smriti Irani from Amethi, where she was defeated by Gandhi by little over 1 lakh votes in 2014.
India goes to polls in seven phases starting from 11 April with the counting scheduled for 23 May.