New Delhi, Mar 31: Triggering a major battle especially in the heat and dust of electoral fray, top CPI-M leaders including Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday opposed Congress president Rahul Gandhi's candidature from Wayanad in Kerala.
"Congress should think that whether this is good for the situation in the country. Election fight will go on and I don’t see anything will change in Kerala with Rahul Gandhi’s presence. But what kind of messages you want to give to the nation by contesting from Kerala," the Chief Minister told reporters.
"You are giving a message that not the BJP, but the Left forces are the main opponents. Let Congress leaders think about it," he said.
"To pick a candidate like Rahul Gandhi against Left means that Congress is going to target the Left in Kerala. This is something which we will strongly oppose," senior CPI-M leader and former general secretary Prakash Karat told reporters.
The Chief Minister Mr Vijayan also took exception to the Congress decision that Rahul Gandhi is contesting from a seat where BJP will not be fielding its candidate and said - "We will fight him (Rahul)...He should have contested from where BJP is contesting. It is nothing but a fight against the Left".
Earlier, BJP and its ally BDJS had announced a candidate. But in view of Rahul Gandhi's decision, there is likelihood of change in the candidate and actor-turned-Rajya Sabha member Suresh Gopi may be fielded, sources said.
The Congress decision that its president Mr Gandhi will contest from Wayanad parliamentary seat - in addition to his family bastion of Amethi - was announced here on Sunday by senior party leader Motilal Vora.
"He (Rahul Gandhi) will win in both the seats Amethi and Wayanad by huge margins," Mr Vora told reporters.
Primarily dependent on agriculture-based economy, the Wayanad district is also famous for horticulture. There are large tribal presence and the region remains one of the development areas in the state mainly due to topographical conditions.
Among the Left partners, the Wayanad seat went to CPI and the party has already named P P Suneer, a state CPI executive member as the candidate.
In 2009 and 2014, Congress leader M I Shanavas had won the seat defeating CPI nominees on both the occasions.
The seat fell vacant in November owing to the death of Shanavas on November 21, 2018.
Nilambur, Wandoor and Eranad assembly segments under the Wayanad constituency have a sizable Muslim population.
The Muslim League also has strong presence. Another assembly segment Thiruvambady has almost equal number of Christian and Muslim population, say locals. (UNI)