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Trivandrum:

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is likely to contest from Wayanad parliamentary seat.  While talking to reporters in Pathanamthitta, former state CM and AICC general secretary Oommen Chandy said the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has requested Gandhi to contest from Wayanad, but he has not commented anything on the proposal.

“There is a demand from party leaders that Gandhi should contest from any of the South Indian Lok Sabha seats and we have requested Gandhi to contest from Wayanad seat,” Oommen Chandy said. “He has not commented on the request so far. But we expect that there would be a positive response,” he added. KPCC general secretary Mullappally Ramachandran also confirmed the report.

For the last few weeks, AICC members were under pressure from the Congress leaders of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala to field Rahul from any of the Southern constituencies. Apart from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, Rahul is expected to contest from South this time.

“Talks were on about this for almost a month. Initially, Rahul Gandhi was not willing. After much persuasion, he agreed”, Mullappally Ramachandran said.

If it is from South, Rahul was expected to choose from Bangalore Central, Bidar and Mysuru from Karnataka, Kanniyakumari and Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu, and Wayanad in Kerala, says Hindustan Times report.

The Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, since its formation in 2008, has been a Congress stronghold.  Congress leaders consider Wayanad as a “safe seat” for Rahul. According to them, Wayanad is a safer seat than Amethi as Rahul is facing BJP leader and Union Minister for Textiles, Smriti Irani there. Though Amethi is the traditional constituency for the Gandhi family in Uttar Pradesh, leaders don’t want Rahul to take a risk.

According to the reports from Congress, T. Siddique, who was considered for the seat initially, has agreed to withdraw his claim in favour of Rahul Gandhi. P.P. Suneer is the LDF candidate in Wayanad. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has accorded the Wayanad seat to its ally BDJS. As per their list, Anto Augustin is the BDJS candidate in Wayanad.

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