KALPETTA: The announcement of AICC chief Rahul Gandhi’s candidature from Wayanad in the Lok Sabha polls has made the party activists ‘extremely happy and proud’.The confirmation has also cleared the cloud of uncertainty that surrounded UDF’s poll campaign in Wayanad and neighbouring constituencies.
“The AICC and state leadership have kept their word. This proves their respect for the sentiments of party workers and voters. We are extremely happy and proud with the decision. It is a major boost to UDF’s poll campaign in Kerala and neighbouring states,” said Wayanad District Congress Committee (DCC) president and Sulthan Bathery MLA I C Balakrishnan.
The decision will give UDF’s election campaign in the constituency a renewed vigour, something that had been lacking due to the high command’s delay in making an official announcement.
The announcement comes eight days after leaders from the state led by AICC general secretary Oommen Chandy declared on March 23 Rahul will contest from Wayanad. Following this, Kozhikode DCC president T Siddhique, the party’s earlier choice for the seat, had said he was happy to step down and start campaigning for Rahul.
However, the delay in finalising a candidate for the seat had left Congress workers disappointed and dampened campaigning in the constituency. Several leaders had also publicly aired their concern over the delay.
“We had full faith in AICC and the state leadership. We always asked the workers to be patient. The delay in an official announcement had become a talking point among workers. They will now work with renewed energy and determination,” Balakrishnan said.
“Since tribal communities and other socially disadvantaged sections form a major chunk of the electorate in Wayanad, three of seven Assembly constituencies – Mananthavady (ST), Sulthan Bathery (ST) and Wandoor (SC) – are reserved for candidates belonging to the ST and SC communities. It is learnt this important factor was considered by the high command while making the decision,” Balakrishnan said.
INC’s surgical strike,says T Siddique
Kozhikode: Kozhikode DCC president T Siddique who was earlier fielded as the Lok Sabha candidate from the Wayanad constituency, has welcomed the party’s announcement of the AICC president Rahul Gandhi’s candidature in Wayanad. Talking to the media on Sunday, Siddique said it was a moment of great happiness and pride that Rahul Gandhi would be contesting from the constituency as per the requests of the Kerala Congress leaders, UDF and Wayanad DCC. “Rahul Gandhi’s candidature declaration is the biggest surgical strike carried out by the INC (Indian National Congress) against BJP and LDF. With this announcement, Congress has assured a 20-20 victory in Kerala,” he said. Siddique added, “Though nearly seven days had been lost by the time the AICC president’s candidature in Wayanad was confirmed, the declaration has paved way for 70 years of development in the constituency.”
UDF supporters take out a rally in Kalpetta on Sunday following the announcement of Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s candidature in Wayanad constituency | Express