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New Delhi:

Congress president Rahul Gandhi will file the nomination for Kerala’s Wayanad constituency on Thursday. He will be accompanied by his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the Congress general secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh. He will arrive in Kozhikode on Wednesday. Congress has also planned a roadshow at Wayanad.

It was on last Sunday, senior Congress leader A.K. Antony announced that Rahul will contest from Wayanad parliamentary constituency in addition to Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

AICC general secretary Oommen Chandy had said Rahul’s candidature from Wayanad would bring national recognition to Kerala. “If by chance he does not arrive on Wednesday, he will arrive on early Thursday and proceed to Wayanad. Ahead of submitting his nomination, he will conduct a roadshow,” Chandy said. He also added the entire election profile in south India has changed drastically because of Rahul Gandhi’s candidature.

“Rahul coming to Wayanad gives a loud and clear message that the Congress is one party which sees the entire country as one. His candidature is going to give a huge boost to the fortunes of the Congress in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu,” Chandy added.

Rahul’s decision is seen as an effort by the Congress to strengthen its electoral base in South India, especially Kerala which has 20 Lok Sabha seats.

“South India feels hostility from Narendra Modi, they feel that they are not being included in the decisions of the country. So, I wanted to send a message to south India that we are with you and I am standing with you. That is why I am standing from Kerala,” Rahul Gandhi said in response to a question after the launch of the party’s manifesto.

However, BJP chief Amit Shah reacted to the development saying Gandhi has “fled to Kerala as he fears that Amethi voters will seek an account from him”.

Kerala will go to poll in a single phase on 23rd of this month. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.

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