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Lok Sabha elections 2019| Drama in Delhi to stop Rahul Gandhi from contesting in Wayanad, says Kerala PCC chief

Party insiders said DMK leader MK Stalin and NCP chief Sharad Pawar have reportedly asked the Congress president to leave the Left alone and concentrate more on the saffron party.

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 29, 2019 17:32 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Rahul Gandhi,Kerala PCC chief,Mullapally Ramachandran
Amid uncertainty over Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s second seat in south India, Kerala PCC president Mullapally Ramachandran on Friday said certain forces were enacting a drama in New Delhi to dissuade the party chief from contesting from the north Kerala constituency of Wayanad.(Reuters File Photo)

Amid uncertainty over Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s second seat in south India, Kerala PCC president Mullapally Ramachandran on Friday said certain forces were enacting a drama in New Delhi to dissuade the party chief from contesting from the north Kerala constituency of Wayanad.

“A drama is being enacted in Delhi and we know the forces behind it. I will disclose the details after a final decision is taken,” he said in Kozhikkode, adding that he was confident the Congress chief would contest from Wayanad. He was indirectly referring to the ruling CPI(M).

There are reports that many partners of the UPA had advised Gandhi about the Left’s unease over his entry in Wayanad. As the Left prospects are looking bleak in West Bengal and Tripura, the CPI(M) is banking heavily on Kerala for some seats. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had criticised the move and asked the Congress whether the BJP or Left parties were its main rivals.

Party insiders said DMK leader MK Stalin and NCP chief Sharad Pawar have reportedly asked the Congress president to leave the Left alone and concentrate more on the saffron party. In that case, he is likely to choose a seat from Karnataka, they said. Initially, state leaders were quite confident but they dithered later as the final decision was dragged.

The uncertainty over the seat has been continuing for almost a week now after it unfolded last Saturday when state opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and former CM Ommen Chandy hinted at Rahul’s possible entry and the top contender for the seat T Siddique bowing out immediately to make way for the party president. April 4 is the last date for filing of nominations and many candidates have filed their papers. In two seats, Wayanad and Vadakara, the high command is yet to announce the party’s candidates officially. The allies and party workers are equally upset with the way the issue is being dragged.

Both Wayanad and Malappuram district Congress committees had passed resolutions requesting the Congress leadership to take a speedy decision. In many places in the constituency, enthusiastic workers have put up boards and hoardings to welcome the party president. As the confusion continued, the BJP said a tacit understanding between CPI(M) and Congress was forcing Gandhi to skip Kerala. “We will expose their understanding,” said BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai.

First Published: Mar 29, 2019 17:32 IST