Wednesday, April 24

Pinarayi Vijayan, INDIA Bloc Ally, Skewers Rahul Gandhi For Fighting Against Left In Wayanad

Edited by Timeline News Desk

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan slammed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Wayanad against Annie Raja of CPI, which is a member of the opposition’s INDIA bloc. Rahul Gandhi is the main leader of the INDIA bloc and is fighting against the Left Democratic Front (LDF), which is also a part of the same alliance, the Left leader said.

“Who is Rahul Gandhi fighting in Kerala? Can we say he is contesting against K Surendran in Kerala? Can we say he came to Kerala to fight against the BJP? He is coming here to contest against the LDF,” he added.

Annie Raja, who is making her electoral debut this year, is also the wife of D Raja, the party’s general secretary and serves as the general secretary of the National Federation of Indian Women. She will face Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and BJP Kerala chief K Surendran in Wayanad.

Addressing the media ahead of the election campaign in Kozhikode, Vijayan described her as a national leader. Lashing out at Gandhi, he said, “Rahul Gandhi is coming to Kerala and contesting against Annie Raja. She is a national leader of the CPI. She was called anti-national during the Manipur violence for strongly calling out the BJP government’s wrongdoing. It was her fact-finding system that brought to light the cruelty of the Christian population. What was the role of Rahul Gandhi in that? Can he say anything about that?”

“When the country saw many such protests, we could always see Annie Raja present there. But did we see the most important leader of Congress, Rahul Gandhi? They can decide who will contest from where, but the inappropriateness was discussed by the entire country. Everybody is questioning his decision to come to Kerala but not competing against the BJP directly at the centre,” Vijayan added.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also jumped in to say that “Smriti Irani sent Rahul Gandhi packing from Amethi”. “Now, an INDI alliance partner says this. Rahul Gandhi, clearly, is not wanted in Wayanad. His frustration shows in his speeches. He is speaking of arson, if BJP wins. @INCIndia is the party which locked up the entire opposition during Emergency,” she wrote on X.

Meanwhile, Vijayan also criticised the Congress over defections to the BJP, stating that such actions impact its credibility, especially at a crucial time when secular forces are challenging the dominance of the ruling party in the country.

The Congress had secured the Wayanad seat by a substantial margin of 4.3 lakh votes in 2019. Despite the CPI’s alliance with the Congress within the Opposition INDIA bloc, the Left party fielded its candidate and urged Rahul Gandhi to seek election from an alternative constituency.

Stressing that North India is a stronghold for the BJP, Binoy Viswam, a CPI leader and Rajya Sabha MP, had earlier questioned the rationale behind the Congress’s electoral focus on Kerala, which has only 20 seats. He drew parallels to the 2019 elections when Rahul Gandhi’s move from Amethi to Wayanad was exploited by the BJP to portray him as evasive, resulting in setbacks for the Congress across North India.

Polling for the Lok Sabha elections will be conducted in seven phases starting from April 19. Kerala with 20 Lok Sabha seats will go to polls in a single phase on April 26. The counting of votes will take place on June 4.