New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who recently confirmed that he will fight the upcoming national election from Wayanad besides Amethi, said on Tuesday that there was a "demand" for him to contest from Kerala. He also hit out at the Narendra Modi-led BJP government and added that South India feels that PM Modi is "hostile towards it."
He was speaking while Congress released their party manifesto for the Lok Sabha election. "There is a very strong feeling in South India that they are not being carried by the present government. South India feels hostility from Mr Narendra Modi," Rahul said.
Rahul is currently the MP from Amethi, a constituency that considered to be a Gandhi family bastion. This is the first time he is contesting from two seats.
Furthermore, he said, "They (people from South India) feel that they are not being included in the decisions of this country. So I wanted to send a message to South India that we are with you and we are standing with you. That is why I am standing from Kerala."
Rahul will file his nomination from Wayanad on April 4 and will be accompanied by sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
Rahul's decision to contest from Wayanad has drawn huge criticism from the opposition. Union Minister Smriti Irani, who is also contesting from Amethi on BJP ticket, alleged that he is confident of his defeat from Amethi and this is the reason why he has decided to contest from a second seat. At Zee News' India Ka DNA conclave, Irani said that her biggest achievement will be when she will defeat Rahul in Amethi.
BJP-led NDA has decided to field Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) chief Thushar Vellappally against Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad.
CPI(M) ex-General Secretary Prakash Karat also expressed disappointment over Rahul's decision and said that it shows that the Congress' priority now is to fight against Left in Kerala.
(With agency inputs)