A livid CPM gears up to defeat Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad.
Thiruvananthapuram: Soon after the announcement of Congress party’s decision to field Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad in Kerala, the Communist Party (Marxist) tried to put up a brave face. Top leaders, including general secretary Sitaram Yechury and chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, said the move will not have any impact on election results in the state.
“Rahul has made one thing clear: He is coming to contest against the Left and not the BJP,” Vijayan said, adding that Rahul is only one among the 20 UDF candidates in the state and the LDF is strong enough to defeat him in Wayanad.
The Chief Minister promised to give a tough fight against Rahul Gandhi.
Rahul could have chosen any seat, where the BJP has a strong presence if he was sincere in his fight against the BJP. But he has decided to contest from Kerala, which proves that he wants to defeat the Left forces, said the chief minister.
The BJP has no presence in Wayanad and hence the fight in the constituency will be between the Left and the Congress, he said.
On reports that Rahul’s presence in south India will give an added advantage in the fight against the BJP, the chief minister said: “It is not going to work out in Kerala.”
Yechury said it was up to the Congress party to specify what message it wanted to convey by fielding Rahul against the LDF candidate in Wayanad constituency.
Yechury, however, refused to comment on Rahul’s prospects in Wayanad. “It is up to the people in Kerala to decide. The CPM’s priorities are very clear. We want to oust the BJP government from power. This time, we would win all the 20 seats in Kerala,” he said.
Yechury did not answer questions on whether he would campaign against Rahul in Wayanad. “It’s the party state committee that prepares election campaign programmes of central leaders,” he said.
CPM politburo member Prakash Karat said told reporters: “Their priority now is to fight against the Left in Kerala. It goes against Congress’ national commitment to fight the BJP, as in Kerala it’s the LDF which is the main force fighting the BJP there.” The party will oppose the move, he added.
“To pick a candidate like Rahul Gandhi against the Left means that the Congress is going to target the Left in Kerala. This is something which we will strongly oppose and in this election, we will work to ensure the defeat of Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad,” Mr Karat said.
The CPI has fielded P.P. Suneer from Wayanad as part of the Left alliance. CPI secretary D. Raja criticised the move, saying it “made no sense”. He said, “I don’t understand what politics the Congress is playing here. There is no BJP to fight in Kerala, it is the Left versus the Congress-led UDF.”