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Rahul Gandhi to contest from Kerala's Wayanad besides Amethi, Left furious

The Congress president is currently the sitting MP from Amethi.

Rahul Gandhi to contest from Kerala's Wayanad besides Amethi, Left furious

Ending all speculations, Congress on Sunday made it official that besides Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi will also contest from Wayanad in Lok Sabha poll.

“All southern states requested the Congress president to contest from their states. After enough deliberations he decided to contest from Wayanad, which shares its borders with two other states, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu,” senior Congress leader AK Antony told reporters in New Delhi.

The Congress president is currently the sitting MP from Amethi and his decision to fight from north Kerala's Wayanad is significant because he is contesting from a second seat for the first time in his political career.

Rahul's decision has allowed the BJP to take jibes at him with Union minister and BJP's candidate from Amethi Smriti Irani alleging that Rahul Gandhi is confident of his defeat from Amethi and this is the reason why he has decided to contest from a second seat.

The Congress hit back saying the BJP comments were "immature". "Similar allegations could have been made when Narendra Modi left Gujarat. Smriti Irani lost Chandni Chowk and Amethi. Now she is prepped up for losing again in Amethi," said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

Wayanad is a rural district that shares its borders with Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The seat has been a Congress stronghold for decades and political experts maintain that Rahul would not face any trouble from winning this seat.

Congress sources said that the decision that Gandhi would also enter the fray a southern seat was taken by the Congress Working Committee last week. The Congress is hopeful that Rahul's decision to contest from Wayanad would help the party perform well in southern states during Lok Sabha poll.

Surjewala claimed that Congress leaders from three southern states - Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu - had requested him to contest Lok Sabha poll from a second seat. 

Meanwhile, CPI(M) ex-General Secretary Prakash Karat has expressed disappointment over Rahul's decision, saying that it shows that the Congress' priority now is to fight against Left in Kerala. 

"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's LDF which is the main force fighting BJP there," Karat told ANI.

Karat remarked that the Left will strongly oppose Rahul Gandhi and will ensure that he gets defeated in Wayanad. "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 & in this election we will work to ensure the defeat of Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad," noted Karat.