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Rahul's candidature in Kerala put LDF in a fix

Rahul's candidature in Kerala put LDF in a fix

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 31 Mar 2019, 01:42 pm

Wayanad, Mar 31 (UNI): The much-delayed but enthusiastically expected announcement from the Congress leadership on Sunday on the All Indian Congress Committee (AICC) president Rahul Gandhi contesting from the Wayanad Lok Sabha Constituency in Kerala has put the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in a catch-22 situation.

The decision by the left parties to go united with the Congress, as part of the"Mahagatbandhan”, aimed at ousting the Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP) from power, would politically question the presence of the Left Democratic Front's candidate in Wayanad constituency where  Gandhi is contesting.

The LDF ally, Communist Party of India (CPI) has fielded P P Suneer to take on the UDF nominee T Siddique.

However, with Gandhi's candidature almost certain, Siddique has withdrawn from the contest paving way for his party leader to contest as his second seat, Amethi in UP being the other constituency from where Gandhi is contesting to the LS polls.

Despite Wayanad LS seat is being a sure bet for the UDF, vis-à-vis Congress, thanks to its time-tested support in the constituency, the question remains how could the LDF stage a contest with the Prime Minister candidate in Wayanad, given its political adjustments elsewhere in the country.

Though the left parties form part of a broad alliance at the centre with Congress, this has not been reflected in Kerala, as the fight has always been between the Congress-led UDF and the CPI(M)-led LDF. And, obviously, the tie-up at the centre has not been reflective in Kerala.

However, the picture has turned turtle now with the presence of the Prime Ministerial candidate contesting from an LS constituency in Kerala.

The CPI and the CPI(M) would be in a catch-22 situation as to explain the narrative of their alliance with the Congress if they contest the election against the AICC Chief and PM-nominee Rahul Gandhi.

If they withdraw their candidate in Wayanad, it would obviously throw political questions on the veracity and morality of the left parties in taking on the Congress in Kerala. The Congress would invariably take advantage of this to overpower the LDF candidates.

The BJP leadership has already quipped by asking the LDF whether they would support Rahul in Wayanad.

The decision of the AICC to make Rahul contest from Wayanad or elsewhere in South India, has been in the air for sometime. This is in the light of a tight fight expected in Ameti LS constituency, where Smrithi Irani will take on Rahul Gandhi.

And, obviously, a safe seat for the Congress president was in discussion within the Congress leadership since for long. The huge victory of Congress candidate with a record margin of over one-and-a-half lakh votes in 2009 and a comfortable 20,000 votes in 2014 would help the Congress offer a safe seat for the Congress president.

The Muslim sentiments against BJP would favour the Congress in the constituency, where there is a good number of Muslim voters. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also had about 20,000 votes polled in 2014. All these votes are likely to go into Congress's kitty this time.

That apart, the big stature of Rahul Gandhi, possibly the Prime Minister of the country, in the event of Congress wresting power from the BJP, would also go a long way in ensuring a very comfortable victory for the Congress president in Wayanad.

Not only the UDF supporters of the constituency but the whole State is euphoric as it would be for the first time ever that a AICC president contesting in Kerala and an MP from Kerala would become Prime Minister.

The presence of Gandhi, however, has disturbed the mood of the CPI(M) and this has been voiced by the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the party secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

They feel the candidature of Gandhi in Wayanad makes the fight between Congress and LDF instead of BJP.

Having decided finally on Gandhi contesting in Wayanad, the political posture of the LDF - the CPI(M) and the CPI, would be questionable in the event of either withdrawing their candidate in Wayanad in conformity with their national polity or pitting a candidate against the Congress leader, strategically against the principles of coalition politics.

The presence of a tall figure like Gandhi is likely to create ripples all across Kerala. The leader is likely to make it to many constituencies on the campaign trail and this vibrancy would mean negative impact for the LDF.

The Congress leadership is eyeing for a clean sweep in the election, thanks to Gandhi's presence in Wayanad.

However, the LDF has to take on the big challenge created by Gandhi's presence in Kerala as a candidate that would invariably penetrate into the hearts of the electorate.


Rahul's candidature in Kerala put LDF in a fix

India Blooms News Service
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