The Kerala Congress has suggested that party president Rahul Gandhi should contest the Lok Sabha election from the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat, besides Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
“A decision in this regard is yet to be taken by the Congress President. However, we thank Kerala PCC Unit, Congress workers, leaders and people of Kerala for the immense affection, for the respect as also for the desire with which they have urged Gandhi,” said Congress chief spokesperson Ranadeep Surjewala.
However, Kerala chief Mullapally Ramachandran said Gandhi has “agreed” to the state unit’s demand.
The party argued that Gandhi contesting from two seats in northern and southern regions of the country “will strengthen national unity and integration” and energise the party workers.
The party, which is contesting 16 out of 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala, has announced the names of 14 candidates but has not declared its candidates from Wayanad and Vadakara.
Members of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty have contested from southern India in the past, particularly when faced with electoral reverses. Former prime minister Indira Gandhi contested from Chikamagalur in a by-poll in 1978, when she was in the opposition.
Indira Gandhi also contested from the Medak seat in present day Telangana, leaving her traditional Rae Bareli seat, during the 1980 polls. Sonia Gandhi has also contested from Bellary in 1999, when the Congress was out of power at the Centre.
Recently the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) announced their seat-sharing pact for the 48 seats of Maharashtra. The Congress will contest 26 and the NCP 22 seats.