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Will Rahul Gandhi contest 2024 Lok Sabha polls from Wayanad? CPI list sparks buzz

Feb 26, 2024 08:17 PM IST

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi won from the Wayanad constituency in Kerala to return to Parliament after losing Amethi to BJP's Smriti Irani.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi may bid adieu to the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in the upcoming general elections and contest from either Karnataka or Telangana apart from the Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh, according to a News18 report.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad.(Congress Twitter)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad.(Congress Twitter)

Rahul Gandhi contested and won the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Wayanad for the first time but faced a shock defeat at the hands of BJP leader Smriti Irani in Amethi.

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The report suggests that Gandhi is contemplating leaving the Wayanad constituency amid pressure from the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) to allocate three seats instead of the current two. Given its substantial Muslim voter base in the region, the IUML wants to field its candidate from Wayanad.

Read: Rahul Gandhi, ‘urgently required’ in Wayanad, abruptly halts Yatra in Varanasi

The Communist Party of India (CPI), meanwhile, has named four candidates for Lok Sabha elections in Kerala, including the Wayanad seat. The CPI, a rival of Congress in Kerala as part of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), is an ally of the grand old party at the national level as part of the opposition INDIA bloc, complicating the equation.

Senior CPI leader Annie Raja, wife of party general secretary D Raja, has been fielded from Wayanad constituency, a seat presently held by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

The News18 report says it won’t look good on the INDIA bloc that one of their prominent leader’s wife will be contesting against Rahul Gandhi.

Read: Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka target govt over ‘paper leaks’

Amethi, on the other hand, could witness another high-profile contest between Rahul Gandhi and Smriti Irani after Congress sealed a seat-sharing pact with the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh. Both Rahul Gandhi and Union minister Smriti Irani were in Amethi last Monday.

Though Rahul Gandhi kept the suspense going over whether he would re-contest from Amethi against Smriti Irani, he tore into the BJP over not inviting President Droupadi Murmu to the consecration ceremony of Ram temple in Ayodhya, making a case about the BJP not caring about OBCs, Dalits, tribals and minorities.

In her counter-attack, Smriti Irani said: “Empty streets of Amethi greeted Rahul’s Nyay Yatra and (this) is proof of the popular anger against those who skipped the Ram temple invite. Now, the family has left the Rae Bareli seat as well.”

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