After Union Minister Smriti Irani was declared as the BJP candidate to fight from the Amethi constituency against Congress President Rahul Gandhi, it has rung alarm bells for several Congress state units, with many feverishly scouting for a second constituency to ensure a guaranteed victory for Rahul.
After Karnataka and Tamil Nadu Congress units, now the All India Congress Committee General secretary Oommen Chandy has requested Rahul Gandhi to fight from the Wayanad constituency in Kerala.
All India Congress Committee General secretary Oommen Chandy: Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has requested Congress President Rahul Gandhi to contest from one of the seats in Kerala. The seat on offer is Wayanad. Rahul Gandhi’s response is expected anytime today pic.twitter.com/ImlBRvlS6v
— ANI (@ANI) March 23, 2019
A few days back Karnataka Congress had urged Rahul Gandhi to fight the Lok Sabha election from a seat in Karnataka. Former CM Siddaramiah pressed Rahul Gandhi to fight elections from Karnataka. The state Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao had a similar demand of the Congress president.
As per the latest reports, Congress’ Randeep Surjewala has stated that Wayanad is being ‘positively considered’.
Tamil Nadu Congress also echoed similar sentiments and requested Rahul Gandhi to chose any of seats in Tamil Nadu to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections apart from his Amethi constituency.TNCC secretary claimed that Rahul Gandhi should be seen as an asset of the people of India and not just as a northerner. P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram, embroiled in INX media case also advocated Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha candidature from Tamil Nadu.
Now, the Kerala Congress chief Mullapally Ramachandran declared on Saturday that Congress President Rahul Gandhi has given his nod to fight from the Wayanad Parliamentary seat, apart from Amethi. The Congress was under tremendous pressure for several weeks now to find a supposedly safe seat in southern India, along with his Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh.
Congress has realised that their president Rahul Gandhi’s fight against the BJP stalwart Smriti Irani in Amethi won’t be a cakewalk. With the kind of commitment Irani has displayed and her dedication to work for Amethi being palpable, the Congress knows that the fight in Amethi will be a closely fought one, with odds stacked up against their president’s victory.
— BJP KERALAM (@BJP4Keralam) March 23, 2019
It seems that at least the southern units of Congress have internalised that a defeat in Amethi is imminent, for they are imploring Rahul Gandhi to fight from the supposedly ‘safe’ Lok Sabha constituencies in their states, as a ‘Plan B’, in case he loses to Irani.
Winning a Lok Sabha seat is crucial to maintaining the legitimacy of his stake at PM candidature should there be a possibility of a Mahagathbandhan government at the center or, in worst case, to save the face of Congress, because the party president losing in elections might mean for the Congress the loss of relevance in national politics.