Kerala BJP Chief, Rahul Gandhi In Race, Wayanad To See 3-Corner Contest

New Delhi:

Evergreen Wayanad, nestling in the western ghats, was a sleepy place that mostly voted for Congress. That was before Rahul Gandhi chose to represent it in parliament. These days, it has become politically charged.

Yesterday, Mr Gandhi filed his nomination from the seat for a second time after holding a massive rally. Tomorrow, it would be the turn of the BJP’s Kerala chief K Surendran, who is gatecrashing the usual Congress-Left party.

The Left candidate is CPI’s senior leader Annie Raja. Though CPI is part of the India bloc at the national level, it has chosen to continue the decades-old rivalry with the Congress in Kerala.

In 2019, with Smriti Irani setting her cap firmly at Amethi, the Congress had chosen a second constituency for Mr Gandhi.

That was Wayanad, which had voted Congress even in 2021, when the whole of Kerala bucked its own trend of showing the door to the incumbent government and gave a record second term to Pinarayi Vijayan and the Left Democratic Front.

But the BJP has warned that winning a second mandate from Wayanad would not be easy for Mr Gandhi.

To underscore the point, Smriti Irani will be present tomorrow for Mr Surendran’s nomination.

In 2019, Ms Irani had managed to flip Amethi — seen till then as a Gandhi pocket borough — in her favour.

On social media, Mr Surendran has posted his thanks for her support.

“I am privileged to have Amethi’s MP Smt. @smritiirani ji, accompanying me for the nomination. Under the dynamic leadership of Smt. Smriti Irani Ji, Amethi has seen significant development, moving past the era of ineffective governance. With Wayanad confronting similar challenges, it’s time for a united effort towards transformative change. Together, let’s secure a prosperous future for Wayanad,” his post read.

Election in Wayanad, along with the rest of Kerala,  is due on April 26.