Wayanad Congress workers thrilled at prospect of sending 2 Gandhis to Lok Sabha

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi greeting the people of Wayanad during a roadshow on Tuesday. Photo: Facebook/@INCKerala

Wayanad: The choice of Wayanad in Kerala to debut Priyanka Gandhi in an electoral battle has added sheen to Wayanad's repute as an impregnable Congress fortress. Priyanka Gandhi's victory is almost certain for the Congress and if that happens Wayanad will be sending two MPs from the Gandhi family to the Lok Sabha in the same year. Also, Wayanad will carve a space in parliamentary history -- there will be three Gandhis in the Parliament; Sonia Gandhi in Rajya Sabha and her daughter Priyanka and son Rahul in Lok Sabha.

While Wayanad is set to enjoy a slice of history in the making, Congress local leadership in Wayanad is already eyeing a majority of over 5 lakh votes for Priyanka Gandhi. Such unbridled confidence springs from the fact that since its formation in 2009, Wayanad has sent only candidates from the Congress-led UDF front of which the Indian National Muslim League (IUML) is an ally.

An agrarian constituency in northern Kerala, Wayanad has been kind to even the most unpopular Congress candidates.

Congress leader M I Shanavas, who won from Wayanad with a majority of 1,53,439 votes in 2009, faced stiff resistance from Congress rank and file when he was pitched for candidacy for a second term in 2014.

The Congress leadership had cleared his candidature neglecting the widespread protests among the party men which spilled over to the streets. He was even slammed by the UDF workers during the campaign in several parts of the constituency. Even then, Wayanad proved its allegiance to the Congress camp ensuring his victory, though by a thin margin of 20870 votes.

It was this blind allegiance of the voters to UDF that spurred the Congress to opt for Wayanad to field Rahul Gandhi in 2019 as a second constituency, amid the fears of a saffron wave in the North. The trust paid off. Congress couldn't have looked for a better slot to launch Priyanka Gandhi who has been a fiery presence in the campaign scene.

According to A P Anilkumar, MLA, the general convener of the election campaign committee of Rahul Gandhi, Wayanad would hold the distinction of sending two MPs from the Gandhi family to the Parliament after the by-election. “Unlike in the pre-poll scenario, the political climate in the nation is more favourable for the UPA alliance which will also be replicated in the voting pattern. We had lost many votes as there was a pro-NDA hype during the pre-poll stage which is absent now,'' he said. Anilkumar hopes that it will not be a great task to record a majority of more than 5 lakh for Priyanka.

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