Editorial: A Tale Of Two Contests

Editorial: A Tale Of Two Contests

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Tuesday, June 18, 2024, 08:31 PM IST
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Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who has decided to contest the Wayanad seat | File

When Rahul Gandhi clinched victories in both Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh and Wayanad in Kerala, it was inevitable that he would relinquish one seat. The twist in this political saga is the decision for his sister, Priyanka Gandhi, to step into the Wayanad fray. Naturally, the BJP has pounced on this, raising eyebrows over the Congress’s silence on the matter and crying foul over dynastic politics. However, let’s dial down the outrage a notch and consider the BJP’s own strategic manoeuvring. It has only has itself to blame for enabling Rahul Gandhi to keep his intentions under wraps until the Kerala polls concluded. After all, this was part of the grand strategy to save Varanasi for the final phase, giving Narendra Modi the stage to crisscross the nation in a frenzied campaign blitz.

And let’s not forget, Modi himself played a similar game in 2014, running from both UP and Gujarat without revealing which constituency he would honour with his undivided attention. This political sleight of hand isn’t new; it’s a tradition dating back to the first elections in 1952, with candidates routinely keeping their cards close to their chests. As for Priyanka Gandhi, she’s hardly a novice in the political arena. After her brother, she’s arguably the Congress’s star campaigner. The dynasty argument? Well, it rings a bit hollow when the Modi government’s own cabinet boasts nearly 20 ministers who owe their political careers to their familial legacies. Her candidacy in Kerala underscores the Congress’s ability to think beyond regional biases. Contrast this with the CPM’s internal strife, where Sitaram Yechury’s Kerala ambitions were squashed by party parochialism. In the end, both Modi in Varanasi and Priyanka in Wayanad have the right to contest where they choose. Let the battle be fought on policy and vision, not on the bogey of dynasty.

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