Rahul Gandhi and CPI's Annie Raja files nomination from Wayanad, a ‘safe’ seat for Congress

On Wednesday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi submitted his nomination papers to the district collector, who also serves as the returning officer for the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in Kerala for the upcoming General Lok Sabha elections.

Prior to filing nomination, he conducted a roadshow in Wayanad interacting with people, and expressing his strong bond with the region by stating, "Wayanad is my home, and the people of Wayanad are my family." 

Rahul Gandhi’s sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the general secretary of his party, AICC general secretaries KC Venugopal and Deepa Das, AICC in-charge of the National Students' Union of India Kanhaiya Kumar, Leader of Opposition in the state assembly VD Satheesan, and KPCC acting president M M Hassan accompanied him on a roadshow in the southern constituency.

rahul gandhi's wayanad road show

During his roadshow, Rahul Gandhi expressed his gratitude for the people of Wayanad, he said "It has been an honour for me to be your member of Parliament. I don't treat you and think of you like an electorate. I treat you and think of you the same way I think of my little sister Priyanka. So in the houses of Wayanad, I have sisters, mothers, fathers and brothers. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that." 

Rahul Gandhi took to his social media account X, he posted, “From them (the people of Wayanad), I have learned a great deal over the last five years and received an abundance of love and affection. It is with great pride and humility that I file my nomination for Lok Sabha 2024 once again from this beautiful land,” 

Why is Wayanad Seat Important for Congress?

In 2019 Elections, Kerala's Wayanad constituency made Rahul Gandhi retain his Lok Sabha seat, as he secured a major victory in the polls with an impressive margin of over four lakh votes after losing by 55,000 votes to BJP's Smriti Irani in Congress stronghold Constituency Amethi. Gandhi secured 64.8% of the total vote share in Wayanad ensuring his success in that constituency. He currently holds the position of the sitting MP in Wayanad.

rahul gandhi in 2019 elections

In a state of Kerala where it is mostly a fight between the Congress-led UDF and the CPI(M)-led LDF, Rahul Gandhi defeated Communist Party of India (CPI) leader PP Suneer in that election. Gandhi's victory in 2019 was significant, polling 7,06,367 votes out of a total of 10,92,197, while his closest competitor, CPI's P.P. Suneer received only 2,74,597 votes. 

Historically, Kerala's Wayanad constituency was established in 2009. In 2009 and 2014, the Congress party sent MI Shanavas to contest for the Lok Sabha election from this constituency. Shanavas had little opposition during his term, until 2014, when he was confronted with a formidable challenge from Satyan Mokeri, the charismatic and well-liked leader of the CPI. Despite this, Shanavas won by a slim margin of 20,870 votes, despite the presence of 5,476 votes for Independent candidate Satyan Thazhemangad. After Shanavas passed away in 2018, the seat remained empty until Gandhi announced his candidacy in 2019. 

rahul gandhi and annie raja

Wayanad has been a stronghold for the Congress. It has consistently secured victory in Wayanad in the past three Lok Sabha elections with significant margins. Even during the 2021 Kerala Assembly elections, the Congress maintained dominance in seven segments constituting the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat. The LDF has nominated Annie Raja against Rahul Gandhi. Gandhi will be facing a BJP K Surendran, its state president, from Wayanad. However, Congress anticipates a victory with a similar margin as before in 2019.

Today, Annie Raja, the Communist Party of India (CPI) candidate, a prominent female figure of the Left in New Delhi, officially submitted her nomination for Wayanad, challenging the incumbent Congress MP Rahul Gandhi. 

In Kerala, voting for the Lok Sabha polls this year is scheduled for April 26, with the counting of votes set for June 4.

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