Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday said, Congress president Rahul Gandhi contesting from Wayanad constituency in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections was a challenge to the Left and not a battle against the BJP.
The chief minister also vowed that the CPI(M) will defeat Rahul. This comes hours after Senior Congress leader AK Antony announced that Rahul Gandhi will be contesting from Wayanad parliamentary constituency in Kerala in addition to Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. “Rahul Gandhi is fighting in one of the 20 constituencies (in Kerala) and does not need to be seen as any different. We will fight him. He should have contested from a constituency where the BJP is contesting; it’s nothing but a fight against Left,” Vijayan said here in a press conference.
Speaking to ANI, former general secretary of CPI (M) Prakash Karat also expressed similar sentiments and said: “To pick a candidate like Rahul Gandhi against Left means that Congress is going to target the Left in Kerala. This is something which we will strongly oppose and in this election, we will work to ensure the defeat of Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad.
Stating that Rahul Gandhi’s candidature from Wayanad is against Congress’ national commitment to fight BJP, Karat added: “Decision of Congress to field Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad shows their priority now is to fight against Left in Kerala. It goes against Congress’ national commitment to fight BJP, as in Kerala it is LDF (Left Democratic Front) which is the main force fighting BJP there.
Prior to Rahul’s candidature, Congress had finalised candidates for 12 seats in Kerala. The Congress is contesting on 16 out of the 20 seats in Kerala leaving four seats for its allies – two seats for the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and one each for Kerala Congress (Mani) and Socialist Party (RSP).