In a recent development, the Congress party announced that Rahul Gandhi is going to contest from the Wayanad seat of Kerala. Though the reasons offered by the Congress party advocate the decision having been taken to develop connect with the Southern part of India, it is very clear and straight, that it is the vulnerability of retaining Amethi is what has made Rahul Gandhi run away to the South.
If South card claim is true, then a valid question to be asked is why didn’t he contest a seat from the South back then as a challenger for PM’s post? Union Textiles Minister Smt. Smriti Irani is a tough competitor and political analysts have observed that even after losing the seat, Smriti has been able to increase the connect with the people of Amethi even more so than the incumbent Member of Parliament (Rahul Gandhi).
But, Wayanad is not an easy go for Rahul Gandhi either. Check the brief points below to take note of the difficulty that the Congress party may face:
Challenge to the ruling Left
As soon as the Congress party announced the decision to field the party president from the South, it received flak from the ruling Left in Kerala. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday said that Rahul Gandhi’s candidature from Wayanad is a direct challenge to the Left and not the BJP. Vijayan did not stop here, he also went on to say that the Left will try it’s best to defeat Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad. Also, he went on to criticize the Congress party as having followed similar economic policies as that of the BJP.
Top leader of the CPI (M) Shri Prakash Karat questioned the commitment of the Congress party against an anti-BJP government at the centre.
Observing all this, it is a very clear indication that the Left will leave no stone unturned to save its last bastion even at the cost of the prestige of the Congress president.
Failure of the Mahagathbandhan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi always preferred to call the Mahagathbandhan logic as ‘Maha Milavat’. It seems to be evident from the developing scenarios that Mahagathbandhan has proven to be a big failure in the country, with the opposition parties fighting among themselves. Kerala is another state which advocates this fact.
Let us take a look at the vote share and votes polled in previous elections held in Wayanad Constituency:
- In 2009 General Elections:
INC – 4,10,703 votes – 49.86%
CPI – 2,57,264 votes – 31.23%
BJP – 31,687 votes – 3.85%
Margin of victory: 1,53,439 votes
- In 2014 General Elections:
INC – 3,77,035 votes – 41.2%
CPI – 3,56,165 votes – 38.92%
BJP – 80,752 votes – 3.85%
The margin of victory of the Congress candidate was reduced to just 20,870 votes from 1.5 lakh votes in 2009.
Now, Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency consists of 7 assembly segments. In the 2016 Legislative assembly elections, it was seen clearly that the Left front got an edge over the Congress-led UDF by winning 4 of the 7 assembly seats. Not only this, in the Panchayat Samitis, Left secured 29 seats over 21 seats of the Congress and the 3 out of 4 municipalities in the constituency have a Left rule.
Observing all the above figures ranging from the vote swing in favour of the Left and NDA in 2014 as well as the winning of major seats in the Legislative assembly by the Left is a clear indication for a neck to neck fight between the Congress and the Left.
The population of Hindus in the constituency is 49.7% whereas the Muslim and Christian population is summed up to 49.5%. People are analysing the support of the minority population to the Congress as an obvious matter but neglecting the high inclination of the minority population towards the Left parties.
Malappuram, a part of the Wayanad constituency, holds over 70% Muslim population and has been at the core of ISIS recruitments in the past. CPI(M) leaders have shared stages with the controversial terrorist organization PFI and politicians including the Chief Minister have declined any decision to ban PFI in the state. This shows the support of left to illegal activities going on in the state. Also, with the Communist party fielding candidates like Kanhaiya Kumar, who has been accused of leading an anti-India front, the Left party gets an extra edge in taking away the votes by appeasing the minorities.
The Kerala Congress unit including the MP from Thiruvananthapuram and top Congress leader Shashi Tharoor offered a pro-Hindu stand on the Sabarimala issue in Kerala saying the traditions of the temple should be respected. Many self-proclaimed secularists and liberals expressed discontent with this stand of the Congress party. But, on the contrary, Rahul Gandhi contradicted the state unit’s stand and went on to say that women should be allowed everywhere. This saw confusion in the minds of Keralites as to what does the Congress party intend to do.
Neither the Hindus believe their stand nor do the Muslims believe what the Congress party wants to say, making it a party rejected by both the communities.
Corruption Charges on Ex-CM
The Left has always alleged the Congress led UDF to be highly corrupt. The Former Chief Minister of Kerala, Shri Oommen Chandy has been accused of having being involved in the Multi crore Solar scam during his tenure. In addition, a probe has been launched to scan corruption charges on 9 former ministers of the Oommen Chandy government.
This impression of the UDF government has made the people of Keralam to reject the leadership of the Congress party on various fronts.
UDF losing Members
Parties like JD (U), Kerala Congress (B), Janathipathiya Samrakshana Samithi etc. withdrew their support from the Congress led United Democratic Front in 2016 and later. JD (U) has a significant vote share in Kerala politics especially in the Wayanad constituency. In the 2016 Kerala assembly elections, Kalpetta assembly segment of the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency saw a JD(U) candidate finishing second giving a tough fight to the LDF candidate.
With the withdrawal of support of these parties, it is very obvious to expect a division in the votes polled in favor of the Congress.
BJP increasing its popularity
Leaving all other factors aside, it is evident in the country that the 2019 elections is all about Modi and the last 5 years. In 2016, in almost every assembly segment, BJP has finished 3rd after the LDF and the UDF. In the past 3 years, the Prime Minister has rallied many times in Kerala and has seen huge support from the state public. Not only this, he also expressed his stand on Sabarimala on national television supporting and understanding the importance of traditions.
He also inaugurated the Kollam bypass and many other infrastructure projects which had been pending since a decade and had not been delivered to the people due to lethargic governance of the previous governments. Also, during the Kerala floods, the Chief Minister using the relief funds for his transportation purposes drew flak from the public and media. But on the other hand, the involvement of BJP and RSS karyakartas in rehabilitation activities gives the BJP an edge in public sympathy towards the party and its ideology.
All the factors listed above can tend anyone to speculate chances of a defeat for the Congress president from his second seat. The rule of the Modi government in the last 5 years has been extravagantly new and has given a guarantee that the aspirations of Indians shall be fulfilled. In such a scenario, the mass support in favour of the Prime Minister is probably haunting the opposition parties which has also made Rahul Gandhi run to the South, but this choice too is questionable.
Get real time updates about our posts directly on your device