Congress president Rahul Gandhi is set to contest from the Wayanad parliamentary constituency in Kerala, along with the Amethi seat in Uttar Pradesh in the April-May Lok Sabha polls.
Veteran Congress leader from Kerala, AK Antony, announced the news on Sunday. The announcement reiterated the speculation that was doing rounds in the media that the Congress is looking for a safer seat for the party president in a southern state.
With this decision Congress president will set up a fight with a Maha Ghatabandhan (Mega alliance) partner, CPM. Responding to the development, Kerala chief minister said “it is not a good sign”. But he expressed confidence that LDF (the alliance, of which CPM is a part) is capable of defeating Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad.
Rahul Gandhi’s opponent from the BJP in Amethi, Smriti Irani, had already ridiculed that the Gandhi scion was running away from a Gandhi pocket borough fearing a fight with her.
Incidentally, Amethi has been represented by a Gandhi ever since 1980, save for six years. Rahul Gandhi himself is a three-time parliamentarian from the seat, winning 2004, 2009, 2014 Lok Sabha elections. However, his winning margin came down sharply in the 2014 polls. Besides, in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the Congress could win just one of the five assembly seats that fall under Amethi Lok Sabha constituency.
Commenting on Rahul Gandhi’s second seat, Union minister and BJP leader Rabi Shankar Prasad said that the ethnic profile of the demography in Wayanad was the main reason. “Only 49% of population in Waynad are Hindu. The rest are minorities,” he added.