Kalpetta: Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi's presence in Wayanad on Tuesday strengthened the rumour that the party may choose her if Rahul Gandhi is not contesting the Wayanad constituency.
Though Congress is confident that Rahul's disqualification will go away soon with the appeal they have already filed with the Surat court, a bypoll remains a possibility in Wayanad.
Rahul's promise on Tuesday to serve in the constituency despite being stripped of his MP post also boosted party workers' morale. The speech by both Gandhis reflected a strong message about how much Congress values the Wayanad seat.
Although it had been four years since Rahul's last visit to Wayanad, Priyanka spoke about his deep affection for the constituency. She highlighted that the people of Wayanad are aware of Rahul's compassionate nature and his willingness to listen to their issues and challenges, and extend a helping hand. She emphasized that Rahul had consistently raised their concerns, worked tirelessly to resolve problems, and stood by them during difficult times.
There are rumours that Rahul might consider contesting from Karnataka in the 2024 general elections. However, with the possibility of Sonia Gandhi vacating the Raebareli constituency due to ill health, the party will be forced to send one of her children to the family's long-held fort. Rahul had lost to the BJP's Smriti Irani in the 2019 elections from Amethi, another important constituency for the Gandhi family.
Rahul’s candidature in Wayanad had given a boost for Congress in 2019 elections helping them winning 19 seats in Kerala. However, that surprise factor may not work the same way in 2024.
Rahul and Priyanka were greeted with enthusiastic cheers from the multitude of people, including UDF leaders, workers, and supporters, as he arrived in Kalpetta. Riding atop a truck along the route of the 'Satyameva Jayate' roadshow, Rahul's presence drew a massive crowd at the venue.
Addressing the gathered crowd, Rahul Gandhi emphasised that being a Member of Parliament was just a mere "tag" or position, and it wouldn't deter him or intimidate him. He pledged to continue representing the people of Wayanad, regardless of any attempts to undermine his role.