Rahul Gandhi likely to contest from Kerala’s Wayanad

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Bengaluru, 23 Mar: Kerala State Congress President Mullappally Ramachandran on Saturday announced that Rahul Gandhi would contest from Wayanad constituency in Kerala. This announcement came two days after the BJP decided to field Union Minister Smriti Irani against him in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.


The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president said the national president had accepted the state unit’s request to contest from Kerala. AICC general secretary and former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy also confirmed the news.


The Wayanad seat is known as a Congress stronghold and but M I Shanawas won there with a majority of 20,870 votes in the 2014 elections. The constituency was vacant after the death of Shanawas in November last year. The constituency consists of the Assembly segments of Mananthavadi, Kalpetta, Sulthan Bathery, Thiruvambady, Nilambur, Wandoor and Eranad. Among them, four of the seats are with the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and three are with the United Democratic Front (UDF).


There was speculation about Rahul’s possible candidature in South India. Party leaders from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala had requested him to contest from their respective states. Chandy said that Rahul’s contest from Wayanad would help the party in South India. 


The Congress has not officially declared its candidate in Wayanad, though the Congress’ T Siddique has kicked off his campaign. After this announcement, Siddique said that he would support Rahul in Wayanad.


The LDF has fielded P P Suneer, a CPI leader, from the seat.


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