New Delhi,Congress president Rahul Gandhi will also contest the Lok Sabha election from Wayanad in Kerala, apart from Amethi in UP.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Congress leader A K Antony announced that Rahul Gandhi has given his consent to contest from two seats.
“For the past so many weeks there have been continuous requests and demands from the Congress workers and our partners, they feel that Rahul Gandhi should contest one seat from South India. The requests and demands were mainly raised by Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu,” said Antony.
He further said that there were deliberations done on the issue by Congress leaders and added, “All of us requested Rahul that ignoring the unanimous request from Southern states is not correct. Hence, Rahul must accept the demand.”
“Finally he has given the consent to contest from Wayanad”, said Antony.
To a question whether Rahul Gandhi is not confident in Amethi, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “Why did Modi ji leave Gujarat and contest from Varanasi? Was he not confident in Gujarat? These are immature and childish comments. She (Smriti Irani) will complete a hattrick of losses.”
“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,” Randeep Surjewala said.
He 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 added.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan reacting to the Congress announcement said that Rahul Gandhi contesting against the Left is not a good sign. “He should have contested against the BJP if he sincerely believes that the BJP is their prime opponent.”
“LDF is very much capable of defeating Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad,” he added.
Earlier in an interview, Rahul had said that Amethi is his “karmabhoomi” (place where you are destined to work) and will remain so.
He had said that the party workers wanted him to contest a second seat for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
In 2014, Rahul Gandhi defeated BJP’s Smriti Irani by a margin of over one lakh votes. Both are pitted against each other again from Amethi.
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.
The process of nominations in Kerala, which goes to the polls on April 23, started on Thursday and will end on April 4