Will Rahul Gandhi Take On BJP In Hindi Heartland Or Choose A Safe Seat In South?

Will Rahul Gandhi Take On BJP In Hindi Heartland Or Choose A Safe Seat In South?

Rahul Gandhi presently represents Wayanad in Kerala, and the ruling LDF is discontented that he defeated a secular party in the 2019 general election rather than the BJP, their main adversary.

Vinay MishraUpdated: Thursday, February 08, 2024, 03:29 PM IST
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Rahul Gandhi | Twitter

Alliance partners within the INDIA bloc are exerting pressure on former Congress president and current Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi to relinquish his current seat in Kerala and vie for a constituency where the BJP holds strong presence.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has urged the Congress to rectify its errors following the setback in the assembly elections in three states. Both the CPI(M) and CPI have advised Rahul Gandhi against contesting from Kerala in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Instead, they suggest that he contest in states like Karnataka, where the BJP poses the primary challenge. CPI General Secretary D Raja, CPM Kerala State Secretary M V Govindan, and CPI leader and Kerala Revenue Minister K Rajan have publicly expressed thier suggestion.

Rahul Gandhi presently represents Wayanad in Kerala, and the ruling LDF is discontented that he defeated a secular party in the 2019 general election rather than the BJP, their main adversary. Despite leading a strategic and diplomatic campaign in which he refrained from criticizing the Left parties but focused on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he secured victory over CPI’s PP Suneer by a considerable margin.

INDIA bloc wants to avoid internal clash

It is being speculated that the Congress might field Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra to contest from the Mysuru-Kodagu seat, currently held by the BJP. The INDIA bloc perceives the BJP as its principal adversary and aims to avoid internal competition that could potentially weaken partners, thereby facilitating BJP's success in securing seats.

The CPI(M) is particularly aggrieved over losing two assembly seats in Rajasthan because the Congress diverted anti-BJP votes, which they would have otherwise obtained, ultimately aiding the BJP. This sentiment has been reinforced in Kerala following the Congress's losses in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh, attributed by Vijayan to the Congress's lack of coordination. Some within the Congress believe that the party's success in winning 19 out of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala in 2019 was due to Gandhi's decision to contest from the southern coastal state.

In 2019, Congress leaders in Karnataka urged Rahul Gandhi to contest from the state, and similar demands are anticipated this time around as well.

Rahul Gandhi would not want to take risk to upset allies

Rahul Gandhi, who is leading the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, a road trip from Manipur to Mumbai, would not want to take the risk of upsetting India's block partners. TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and JDU's Nitish Kumar have already separated from the alliance, blaming the Congress party for prioritizing their own interests over strengthening the alliance.

In 2019, Rahul Gandhi contested from two seats: Uttar Pradesh's Amethi seat and Kerala's Wayanad seat. Before the election, the Congress party had sensed that BJP candidate Smriti Irani could give Rahul Gandhi tough competition or perhaps even defeat him. Therefore, the party decided to field Rahul from Wayanad as well, a safer seat.

The Congress party has not yet revealed Rahul's candidacy, but it remains intriguing to observe whether he will heed the advice of his allies and run in a constituency where he will face off against a BJP candidate, or if he will opt for a safer alternative.

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