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Wayanad's emotional connection with Rahul Gandhi

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had more than one reason to choose Wayanad in Kerala as his second seat of the contest in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Apart from being a Congress bastion, the city also has a strong emotional connection with the party chief.

Reported by: Arshi Aggarwal @arshiaggarwal New Delhi Updated on: April 04, 2019 20:35 IST
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Wayanad,
Image Source : PTI

Wayanad: Congress President Rahul Gandhi along with party General Secretary and Uttar Pradesh - East in charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and other leaders wave at party supporters during a roadshow ahead of the former's nomination filing, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi today filed his nomination papers from Kerala's Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency in presence of his sister Priyanka Gandhi. The Congress party, which has been reduced to 44 Lok Sabha seats and six state governments, pondered carefully before deciding on a second seat for Rahul Gandhi to contest. The party claimed that all southern states had requested Rahul Gandhi to contest from one of their seats, but they chose Wayanad, which shares its borders with two other states, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu...

While Wayanad is a safe seat for Rahul Gandhi to contest from, there is also an emotional and a symbolic connect.

Why did Rahul Gandhi choose Wayanad

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had more than one reason to choose Wayanad in Kerala as his second seat of the contest in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Apart from being a Congress bastion, the city also has a strong emotional connection with the party chief.

The Rajiv Gandhi factor:

Rahul Gandhi has been to Wayanad before. In 1991. Rahul Gandhi had come to the Kerala town to immerse his father's ashes after his brutal assassination in 1991. Accompanied by KPCC chief AK Antony and K Karunakaran, 21-year-old Rahul had performed a puja at Thirunelly temple before immersing the ashes in Papanasini River. K Karunakaran had utilised the fact that former prime minister's ashes were immersed in Papanasini River to gain sympathy votes in 1991 polls.

The Congress grabbed 13 seats out of a total of 20 seats in Kerala in the 1991 Lok Sabha elections, leaving the Left front shocked.

Rahul Gandhi's decision to contest from Wayanad will be seen as many as a tribute to his father.

South India's Varanasi:

Wayanad's Thirunelli temple has a massive religious relevance for the Hindus. The temple is known as Kashi of the South. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi is contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Varanasi, the Kashi of the North, Rahul Gandhi seems to have chosen Kashi of the South to pull him down.

India Tv - Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Wayanad

Image Source : PTI

Wayanad: Congress President Rahul Gandhi with party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and other leaders wave at party supporters during a roadshow after filing the former's nomination filing for Lok Sabha elections

After filing his nomination papers, Rahul Gandhi today said that he wishes to send the message of unity between India's southern and northern regions.

"I have come to Kerala to send a message that India is one. South, north, east, west, centre... all are one. There is an assault taking place across the country by the RSS and BJP. I just want to send a message and I will stand from south India and north India. My aim was to give a message.

"There is a feeling in south India that by the way in which the Narendra Modi government is functioning, their culture, language, history all are being attacked. So I wanted to give a message that I will fight from north and south," Gandhi said.

Whatever might be his reasons, Rahul Gandhi's candidature from Wayanad will surely rejig Lok Sabha Elections 2019. 

Election trivia: In the 1977 elections, a doctor from Wayanad had contested against Indira Gandhi in Raebareli and managed to score 9311 or 2.80 per cent of votes, without any ability to speak Hindi. Dr Nalla Thampi Thera Paramanand of Wayanad had contested elections just to make a statement and had lost to Janata Party's Raj Narain.

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