KOCHI: Rahul Gandhi’s demoralising loss from Amethi may act as a blessing in disguise for Wayanad as the Congress president will be a full-time MP from the hill town constituency for the next five years, said party leaders.
“We will have a permanent MP’s office in Wayanad, probably in Kalpetta. We will ensure that Wayanad is taken care of even if he will not be able to be physically present in the constituency most of the time,” said KPCC general secretary K P Anilkumar, who was the media convenor for the party in Wayanad. Earlier, there were speculations on which seat the Congress scion will retain if he wins both from Wayanad and Amethi. Now, that question has been put to rest.
“Rahul’s plans in the constituency will be finalised only after the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting in Delhi on Saturday,” Anilkumar said. Rahul, who has been the Amethi MP since 2004, lost the seat to BJP’s Smriti Irani.
Rahul’s win in Wayanad saw many records tumble. For one, the total votes - 7,06,367 - polled by the Congress president is a new record in the state, beating 4,37,723 votes secured by former Indian Union Muslim League leader E Ahamed from the Malappuram constituency during the 2014 general elections.
Rahul’s victory margin of 4,31,770 votes is also a new record in Kerala, beating Ahamed’s margin of 1.94 lakh votes. Rahul also garnered 64.67 per cent of the 10,92,197 votes polled, which is also a new record in the Lok Sabha elections in the state, said Anilkumar.
IUML national general secretary P K Kunhalikutty, who failed to breach Ahamed’s record in the bypoll in Malappuram in 2017, also beat the margin on Thursday. Kunhalikutty’s margin of victory of 2.60 lakh votes is now the second biggest margin in the state. In 2017 bypoll in Malappuram, Kunhalikutty’s victory margin stood at 1.71 lakh.