Kozhikode, Mar 28 : The delay and certainty in the official announcement by the party high command on the recently-spread news of the All India Congress Committee president Rahul Gandhi's candidature in Wayanad Lok Sabha Constituency in Kerala has dampened the spirit of the election campaigning in the constituency.
Though the Congress leader K Muraleedharan had been actively campaigning in Vatakara LS constituency, his candidature in the seat is yet to be officially announced by the party's all India leadership.
It was the former Kerala Chief Minister and AICC general secretary Oommen Chandy, who broke the news on January 23 that the AICC chief would opt Wayanad as his second seat (first being Amethi) to contest for the LS election.
This has followed by senior Congress leaders from Kerala and its allies in the United Democratic Front (UDF) welcoming the decision of the Congress leadership.
This big announcement had created an unprecedented euphoria among the party circles in the State, thanks to the big stature of the candidate, who is also the Prime Ministerial candidate in the 17th Lok Sabha, if Congress would get a majority to rule.
The Congress nominee for the seat, T Siddique, had jumped the guns by declaring his withdrawal from the candidature to pave way for the AICC chief's contest from Wayanad constituency. In fact, the party cadres in the constituency had started campaigning for the AICC chief with a committed goal to ensure the victory of their chief with a record margin of votes.
And the Congress’s rank and file has been awaiting the official announcement on the “Saturday Surprise” – the news on Rahul’s candidature in Wayanad.
However, a delay and the uncertainty on the official announcement had gloomed the party leaders in the constituency, vis-à-vis the State. The comment by senior Congress leader P C Chacko on Sunday last that no decision in this regard has been taken either by Mr Gandhi or the AICC had further dampened the spirit of the Congress camp.
No matter what the outcome on the "Saturday surprise" would be, the UDF circles in Wayanad continue to campaign for the "Congress" candidate in the constituency. The UDF election committee of Wayanad had launched its mandalam-based meetings from Monday.
However, the ambiguity over the “candidate” has been playing spoilsport in the campaigning, for the campaigners find it difficult to answer the queries of the voters, whether Mr Gandhi is contesting or Mr Siddique.
In fact, even the candidature of Mr Siddique and that of K Muraleedharan, the Congress nominee for the Vatakara LS seat, has not yet been officially declared by the party high command. The nominees for these two LS constituencies has not figured even in the 12 th list of the Congress.
Adding further confusion in this was the “Saturday surprise” from Mr Chandy on Rahul’s entry in Wayanad.
Mr Siddique is among the campaigners to canvass votes for the UDF candidate, which could either be he himself, who is also the Kozhikode DCC President or the AICC President Mr Gandhi. Now all are eagerly awaiting a final decision on this to come from the party high command. (UNI)