Kerala CM Pinarayi slams Rahul Gandhi for contesting against Annie Raja

The CPI(M) is a part of the INDIA alliance. However, they have clarified that they would maintain a separate identity without being part of the organisational structure.
Kerala CM Pinarayi slams Rahul Gandhi for contesting against Annie Raja
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INDIA alliance member and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday, April 1 slammed Rahul Gandhi for contesting in the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency against the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate and Communist Party of India (CPI) national leader, Annie Raja. He also called out Rahul Gandhi for not actively campaigning against the BJP.

Addressing the media ahead of the election campaign in Kozhikode, the Chief Minister said, “Rahul Gandhi is contesting against Annie Raja, who is a well-known left leader nationally. She strongly called out the Bharatiya Janata Party’s government (BJP) in the Manipur issue and she was attacked by calling her anti-national. But what is Rahul Gandhi's role in this? We can see Annie Raja’s presence in every protest that is happening in the country. But we can't see Rahul Gandhi, a prominent leader in Congress, among such protesters.”

Interestingly, Pinarayi slammed the Congress leader a day after the INDIA alliance protest rally in Delhi where the CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and Congress leaders shared the stage. The CPI (M) had earlier made it clear that they would be part of the INDIA alliance but not be a part of its organisational apparatus.  

Questioning Rahul Gandhi for not fighting the BJP head-on, he said, “He can contest from anywhere, that they can decide. But the entire country should discuss the inappropriateness of this. Why is he not contesting against BJP directly?” 

Both Rahul Gandhi and Annie Raja are contesting from Wayanad constituency. The BJP has fielded Kerala State president K Surendran as National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate from the constituency.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Rahul Gandhi won from Wayanad with a huge margin of over 4.31 lakh votes; the highest margin in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Kerala. He secured 64.94 % vote share defeating LDF candidate PP Suneer. The NDA had fielded BDJ(S) leader Tushar Vellapally who secured just around 78,000 votes which accounted for a mere 7.25 per cent.

(with inputs from IANS)

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