New Delhi, March 31: Congress President Rahul Gandhi will contest from Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency in Kerala besides his traditional stronghold of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
Veteran Congress leader from Kerala and former Defence Minister A K Antony made this announcement at a press conference here Sunday, saying Gandhi had consented to fight from Wayanad following requests from the state unit.
“Rahul Gandhi will contest from Wayanad parliamentary constituency from Kerala,” Antony said.
The decision is seen as an attempt by the Congress to consolidate its electoral base in South India, especially Kerala which has 20 Lok Sabha seats.
“This is a message to the southern states that they are deeply valued and respected. Congress President Rahul Gandhi has said that he will represent Amethi but will also represent southern states as they are an important part of India’s way of life,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.
He said Gandhi has said that Amethi is his ‘Karmabhoomi’ and he will never leave it. The state units of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu had requested him to contest from south India at a time when there is “attack on the language and culture from Modi government,” he said.
“This is a fight to espouse the aspirations of South India. This is a fight to give a befitting reply to those forces that attack cultures, languages, way of life and also the deep connect between North and South India between which BJP has created a division,” he said.
Surjewala said the people of Amethi trust the fact that they are protected with Rahul Gandhi being there. “BJP has the task of conspiracy while we have the task of construction,” he said.
The Congress leader Antony said Wayanad is situated in Kerala, but also surrounded by Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
“In a way it’ll satisfy the requests of 3 southern states,” he said.
Antony also said that there were many requests from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
“So one of the major reason for consideration was that it’s a tri-junction of three southern states,” he said.
For the last few weeks, many Congress workers and leaders have requested the Congress President to contest from the Southern seat and he has agreed to their request. (PTI)