The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has some serious groundwork to do in Kerala's Wayanad district after Congress president Rahul Gandhi announced his candidature from the Lok Sabha constituency. Rahul Gandhi will be contesting from Wayanad as his second seat in addition to Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP had alloted the seat to its alliance partner Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) on March 20. Since Rahul Gandhi is contesting from the north-east district of Kerala, the rumours are that the BJP is planning to field a high-profile candidate in the district against the Congress president.
There are allegations that BJP is likely to take over the seat from BJDS in Wayanad unless there is pressure from the party or a last minute call to field someone else. BDJS president Thushar Vellappally had declared Paily Vathiattu as the party candidate from Wayanad constituency.
Vellappally, who is contesting from Thrissur district, had said that if Rahul Gandhi contests from the district, the party's national leadership might reconsider their candidate in the district. Earlier the BDJS president had expressed his desire to tackle the Congress president in Wayanad.
However, the decision lies with the BJP high command on who will contest from Wayanad. BJP president Amit Shah is supposed to take a final verdict over the change of candidate.
There could be chances of BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai or even Union minister Smriti Irani, who is contesting against Rahul at Amethi, being fielded as an NDA candidate in Wayanad, reports Deccan Herald.
Sreedharan Pillai had slammed Congress for fielding Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad on Sunday. He said that the Congress has stooped very low and the Congress president is prostrating in front of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) for victory from Wayanad.
He also said that the Congress has forgotten history as Rahul Gandhi's great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru had called the Muslim League as a dead horse.
The Congress party leaders from south Indian states had earlier requested Rahul Gandhi to contest from one of the southern Lok Sabha seats, to which the Congress president has now narrowed down on contesting from Wayanad.
Wayanad shares borders with Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and has always been a safe seat for Congress from where the party has won a glorious victory in the past.