Wayanad prepares for by-poll after Rahul Gandhi vacates

Rahul Gandhi had expressed his anguish regarding which constituency he should abandon — Wayanad or Rae Bareli- during his recent visit in Wayanad, finally he decided to vacate Wayanad.

Updated - June 17, 2024 09:20 pm IST

Published - June 17, 2024 09:07 pm IST - KALPETTA

Congress leaders and brother-sister duo Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra share a hug after the announcement of Priyanka’s candidature from the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat, in New Delhi on June 17, 2024.

Congress leaders and brother-sister duo Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra share a hug after the announcement of Priyanka’s candidature from the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat, in New Delhi on June 17, 2024. | Photo Credit: ANI

Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency is preparing for a by-poll after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi decided to retain Rae Bareli.

Though Mr Gandhi had expressed his anguish regarding which constituency he should abandon — Wayanad or Rae Bareli- during his recent visit in Wayanad, finally he decided to vacate Wayanad.

Mr. Gandhi had won both Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh and Wayanad in the recent Lok Sabha polls.

A meeting of senior leaders of the Congress part, on June 17, at Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge’s house in Delhi decided to leave the Wayanad constituency and retain Rai Beariely.

It also decided to nominate his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra from Wayanad.

Mr. Gandhi had scripted a huge victory in the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency for the second time with a margin of 3,64,422 votes over his nearest rival Annie Raja of the Communist Party of India.

While Mr. Gandhi polled 6,47,445 votes, Annie Raja received 2,83,023 votes. BJP candidate K. Surendran stood in third position with 1,41,045 votes. Mr Gandhi had won the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Wayanad with a record majority of 4,31,770 votes.

Now all eyes are on Ms. Priyanka Gandhi to see if she could repeat the astonishing majority scripted by Mr. Gandhi in Wayanad and who would be the LDF and NDA candidates against her.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Mr. Gandhi secured a majority of 64.8% votes while CPI’s P.P. Suneer came second with 25.2% votes.

Mr. Gandhi’s performance as the MP, and the national leader of a major party won the people’s favour for the second time.

Ms. Annie Raja, a national leader of the CPI, showcased good performance and carried out an intensive campaign. However, her efforts did not come to fruition. BJP State President K. Surendran was the third major contender whose campaign failed to bring about positive results, though the vote share of BJP increased considerably. Mr. Gandhi won the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh by a margin of 3,90,030 votes, bettering his mother Sonia Gandhi’s victory margin in 2019.

The Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency has supported the Congress party since its inception in 2009. Earlier IUML State president Panakkad Sadiqali Shihab Thangal and IUML national General Secretary P.K. Kunhalikkutty had urged the Congress leaders to consider Ms. Gandhi for the Wayanad seat if Mr. Gandhi would leave it. They said such a move would strengthen the UDF in the State.

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