The state units of Congress reportedly believe that Rahul's presence in the south will boost the party's prospects and also lift the morale of the workers. The national leadership of the party has also indicated about considering the option seriously.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi is likely to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election from another seat far away from Amethi – in Wayanad of Kerala. This comes after Congress units of three southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala asked the party chief to contest from their states. However, no official announcement has been made yet.
This comes twenty years after Sonia Gandhi contested from a South India constituency in Bellary of Karnataka along with Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh.
While Tamil Nadu Pradesh Congress Committee initially proposed the Kanyakumari constituency for Gandhi, later they announced H Vasanthkumar as a candidate for the same. Many other local media reports have claimed that Rahul has agreed to compete from the Wayanad constituency.
The state units of Congress reportedly believe that Rahul’s presence in the south will boost the party’s prospects and also lift the morale of the workers. The national leadership of the party has also indicated about considering the option seriously.
Wayanad, which is in Northern Kerala, shares its borders with two other southern states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The district which has the largest tribal population in Kerala along with that the religious minorities group of Christians (21.34 per cent) and Muslims (28.68 per cent) form a huge chunk of the vote bank. 49.48 per cent of the district population is Hindu, according to the latest Census report.
The Wayanad constituency has been a stronghold of Congress ever since it was formed in 2009. Senior Congress leader M I Shanawaz won the seat in 2009 by defeating M Rahmathulla of CPI and again in the 2014 elections. However, the margin of victory fell sharply. Shanawaz passed away in November 2018, and ever since then, the seat has been lying vacant. Bypolls were not organised since elections were around the corner.
The constituency consists of seven assembly seats – Kalpetta, Mananthavady, Sulthan Bathery, Thiruvambady, Nilambur, Eranad and Vandoor. It is also one of the most prominent rural districts in the state, with only 3.86 per cent of the population living in the urban regions. the constituency is also more susceptible to agricultural sector crisis in the state.
The Congress is contesting 16 out of 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala. It has already announced candidates for 14 seats, and only Wayanad and Vadakara remain.
Polling in all 20 seats in Kerala would be held on April 23, while the counting of votes will take place on May 23.