What message are you sending, Left asks Congress as Rahul chooses to contest from Wayanad
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. Tamil Nadu has 39 Lok Sabha seats and Karnataka has 28.
- Congress President Rahul Gandhi will also contest the Lok Sabha polls from Wayanad in Kerala, apart from his present constituency of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
- The decision is seen as an attempt by the Congress to consolidate its electoral base in south India.
- The CPI(M) said the move signalled that the Congress wanted to take on the Left which would work towards defeating him in the elections.
While the CPI(M) and CPI said the move signalled that the Congress wanted to take on the Left which would work towards defeating him in the elections from Wayanad, the BJP said Gandhi "fled" to Kerala fearing that Amethi voters will seek an account of the work done by him and his party over the years.
Reacting to the development, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has asked the Congress party to decide upon its priorities.
"Our priorities are to defeat the BJP and its allies, increase the strength of the Left and ensuring an alternative secular government at the Centre. Now, the Congress must decide what are its priorities. It's for them to decide," Yechury said.
He said traditionally in Kerala the contest is between the LDF and the UDF and the BJP is not a force to reckon with electorally.
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"In this fight between the LDF and the UDF, our priority is to defeat the BJP and to increase the strength of the Left in the Parliament so that pressure can be put on the alternative secular government to take pro-people policies," he said.
"Now, it is for them to consider that what message they are giving. When the whole country wants to defeat the BJP, here the Congress president is contesting the LDF," Yechuri added.
In these elections, we are clear what our priorities are. It is for others to make clear their priorities and see what kind of message they are sending to the country. #Kerala pic.twitter.com/NALoaHbMO8
— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) March 31, 2019
CPI(M) politbureau member Prakash Karat said the decision of the Congress shows that the party wants to take on the Left in Kerala.
"Their priority now is to fight against the Left in Kerala. It goes against Congress' national commitment to fight the BJP, as in Kerala it is the LDF which is the main force fighting the BJP there," he told reporters.
The CPI(M) ex-general secretary said his party will work to ensure Gandhi's defeat in Wayanad.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Gandhi contesting from Wayanad could only be seen as a move to fight the Left parties and not the BJP, and asserted that the LDF would defeat him in the April 23 Lok Sabha elections.
Gandhi has been thrice elected to Parliament from Amethi, considered the Congress bastion in 2004, 2009 and 2014.
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