MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Contest from Hindi heartland, not Kerala: CPI secretary Binoy Viswam to Rahul Gandhi

While the Congress has yet to decide whether Rahul should contest a second time from Kerala, the Left parties have been voicing concern about the damage such a possibility would cause to the image of the INDIA bloc

K.M. Rakesh Bangalore Published 08.01.24, 05:57 AM
Rahul Gandhi.

Rahul Gandhi. File picture

Kerala state CPI secretary Binoy Viswam has urged the Congress to use its "political wisdom" and figure out whether Rahul Gandhi should end up fighting an INDIA ally in Kerala and not limit himself to taking the BJP on in the Hindi heartland.

"Rahul Gandhi would be fighting an INDIA ally if he takes the electoral field from Kerala, when the main battle is to be fought in the Hindi heartland," Viswam told The Telegraph on Sunday.

ADVERTISEMENT

He justified the repeated calls made by the CPI and the CPM against Rahul, MP from Wayanad in Kerala, contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha polls from the southern state.

"We all know the importance of defeating the BJP to safeguard our constitutional values and secular-democratic principles. But at the same time, the fight is not in Kerala but in the northern states," Viswam said.

"People will certainly ask questions about the intent of the Congress if it fields Rahul from a state where the BJP stands no chance of winning even a single seat."

While the Congress has yet to decide whether Rahul should contest a second time from Kerala, the Left parties have been voicing concern about the damage such a possibility would cause to the image of the INDIA bloc.

While Kerala’s Left Democratic Front had raised similar questions when the Congress fielded Rahul from Wayanad in 2019, Viswam stressed that the 2024 elections would be the first following the formation of the INDIA coalition and its partners can therefore not be seen fighting each other.

"This is not personal, but entirely a political requirement for the INDIA alliance itself that Rahul should be seen fighting the BJP and not an alliance partner," Viswam said. "The final decision is being left to the political wisdom of the Congress."

Rahul, who had lost from family borough Amethi in Uttar Pradesh in 2019, had won Wayanad by a landslide margin of 431,770 votes against a CPI candidate. The Wayanad constituency, formed in 2009, has always elected Congress candidates against CPI rivals.

More important, Rahul’s presence in Kerala had helped the Congress-led UDF win 19 of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in the state, leaving only Alappuzha to the CPM.

Viswam said: "We are working hard to ensure the LDF wins all 20 seats, particularly considering the possibility of a hung Parliament. While it’s a certainty that the BJP will go poaching (if there’s a hung Parliament) and Congress members might cross over, the Left alone can resist such temptations and pressures from the BJP."

After the recent round of Assembly elections in which the Congress managed to win only Telangana, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and CPI national general secretary D. Raja had questioned the logic of Congress leaders in Kerala insisting on fielding Rahul from Wayanad again.

Vijayan too had said that Rahul taking on the LDF would be seen as a fight within the INDIA bloc.

"The Congress should decide whether Rahul should be contesting against the BJP or the Left, since both the Congress and the Left are part of the INDIA alliance formed to defeat the BJP," he said.

But Congress leaders from Kerala have been vociferously demanding that Rahul contest from Kerala again, and questioning the rationale of the LDF fielding a candidate against him.

They have been emphasising that the LDF is the Congress’s main rival in Kerala, and that this will not change despite the alliance at the national level.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT