Calling Amethi his family, the Congress cadre in his Parliamentary constituency, expressed confidence that Rahul Gandhi would fare equally well in down south. Gandhi has been thrice elected the member of parliament from Amethi, considered the Congress bastion in 2004, 2009 and 2014.
Making it a prestige issue for them, the Congress cadre vowed to ensure a bigger victory for Rahul in traditional Gandhi bastion. "This fight of Rahul ji is between workers of Amethi and Wayanad. The contest is of the winning margin. Where does he get a bigger margin is the only question," said Congress MLC Deepak Singh while talking to media.
He added: "Every worker and voter of Amethi has given a slogan 'abki baar 5 lakh paar', essentially meaning that the workers aim at making him victorious for the fourth time by over five lakh votes. In Amethi, the Congress chief is facing a challenge from BJP candidate Smriti Irani.
Smriti had challenged Rahul in his bastion in 2014 as well. She had lost the election to Congress chief by over a lakh votes. But the BJP candidate managed to bring the victory margin of Congress chief down from three lakh in 2009 to just one lakh in 2014.
With this decision, Rahul Gandhi becomes the third member of the Gandhi family to select a second seat from south India.
Prior to him, his grandmother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had contested from Chikmagalur in Karnataka in 1978. His mother and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi fought from Bellary in the same state in 1998.
"He has decided to fight from Wayanad to respect the demand and emotions of the party workers. Amethi is family and a family is forever," Congress's Amethi unit president Yogendra Mishra said over the phone.
However, some adverse voices also emanated from Amethi. A common voter, Pappu Pandey feels that Rahul Gandhi is not sure of his victory from Amethi so he is exploring another option. Rajan Singh, 23, a student feels that Rahul Gandhi seems to have lost faith in Amethi which has voted for him and his family for ages.