Amidst speculation on whether Congress President Rahul Gandhi will contest from the Wayanad constituency in Kerala for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the state opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala on Friday said that the All Indian Congress Committee (AICC) will announce its decision either by Friday evening or Saturday.
Chennithala said that it is the wish of the party that Rahul Gandhi contests from Wayanad. “It’s not just Oommen Chandy, but the decision to request Rahul Gandhi to field from a second seat was taken by everyone in the party. The difficulty in not yet announcing the candidate is faced not just by our ally Muslim League, but also for us,” said Chennithala.
Though the Congress had announced T Siddique as the candidate from the seat, the campaign that had been going on in full swing has slowed down due to uncertainty about whether Rahul Gandhi would choose Wayanad as his second seat.
By stating that the decision to field Rahul from Wayanad is based on the “positive thinking” that gaining more seats by the Congress in south India would help to “dethrone” the Modi government, Chennithala went on to add that they are not bothered about the Left’s opposition regarding this move. Many Left leaders have openly opposed the move saying that Rahul standing against their candidate would send a wrong signal that the secular front was not together in its battle.
“What political importance does the Left, which is contesting in less than 40 seats have? The political environment in Kerala is changing in such a way that the CPI(M) will not win a single seat this election,” said the opposition leader.
Meanwhile, Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader PK Kunhalikutty, who is contesting from the Malappuram constituency in the upcoming elections, said that the delay in finalising the candidate is not a problem for the IUML. “Let the Congress take their time in announcing the candidate. Once the candidate is announced, UDF will stand together to make sure that the candidate wins the elections,” Kunjalikutty said.
The speculations about Rahul Gandhi contesting from Wayanad had indeed created a positive wave among the UDF workers in Kerala as they felt that this move would definitely mobilise the public in their favour.
According to a report by Hindustan Times, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president, Mullapally Ramachandran on Friday said that certain forces in New Delhi were trying to dissuade Rahul Gandhi from contesting from Wayanad.
“A drama is being enacted in Delhi and we know the forces behind it. I will disclose the details after a final decision is taken,” Mullapally was quoted to have said.