Rahul’s candidature throws up too many questions

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LDF has reiterated its resolve not to change its candidate in Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency

Following Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s confirmation to contest from Wayanad, the United Democratic Front (UDF) as well as the Congress will have to strain every nerve to proffer a convincing reason in support of his decision to opt for the segment.

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) will eventually toss up the soft Hindutva line being pursued by the Congress in north India and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has already projected the candidature as a bid to appease the minorities.

The LDF has reiterated its resolve not to change its candidate P.P. Suneer, but instead bolster its campaign machinery to take on the challenge posed by Mr. Gandhi’s candidature. Mr. Suneer has completed two rounds of campaigning and has sustained its pace even as the UDF camp remains a confused lot.

‘The principal foe’

The LDF has raised a question about the principal foe that Mr. Gandhi and the Congress are fighting in the current elections and clarified that it is solely committed to unseating the NDA.

Despite the best efforts of the national leaders to make it appear that the Congress is targeting the BJP, the CPI(M) and the LDF take it as a straight fight between them and the Congress itself. This may also seriously impact the bid to carve out a secular front against the NDA, sources said.

The soft Hindutva line purportedly adopted by the Congress that closely resembles the BJP’s political line on cow slaughter and construction of Ram temple may also be stirred up in the course of the campaign. The accent of the NDA campaign in Wayanad and elsewhere would be on minority appeasement by the Congress.

BJP State president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai said that Mr. Gandhi had conceded defeat by moving over to Wayanad, where the BJP did not have a prominent presence.

The question why he chose Wayanad after skipping about 450 segments in the country, including Thiruvananthapuram and Pathanamthtita, where the BJP is a force to be reckon with, would be raised during the course of the campaign.

BJP options

Following the confirmation of Mr. Gandhi’s candidature, the BJP is reported to be toying with the idea of fielding a national leader in Wayanad, but it would ultimately settle for Bharath Dharma Jana Sena leader Thushar Vellappally and have a BJP nominee in Thrissur.

Considering the paucity of time, the lot may fall on one of the BJP State general secretaries. The BDJS has agreed to go by the BJP national leadership’s decision and that has made the task easy too.

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