Congress president Rahul Gandhi may follow the footsteps of his mother Sonia Gandhi and grandmother former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from Karnataka. Various demands have been raised by Karnataka Congress leaders urging Rahul Gandhi to consider the candidature from there and represent the aspirations of South India.
Rahul Gandhi is also contesting from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, according to the candidate list announced by the party. As Congress has finalised its seat share with the state coalition partner JD-S, it has kept the Bellary seat reserved for itself.
Rahul Gandhi's mother and former Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, had won from Bellary in the 1999 Lok Sabha elections while his grandmother Indira Gandhi had won the Chikmagalur seat in the 1978 elections.
Senior Karnataka Congress leaders including former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and state party president Dinesh Gundu Rao have appealed to Rahul Gandhi to fight elections from the state.
— Dinesh Gundu Rao / ದಿನೇಶ್ ಗುಂಡೂರಾವ್ (@dineshgrao) March 15, 2019
Siddaramaiah said that Karnataka has always supported and encouraged Congress, which holds true in case of leaders like Sonia Gandhi and Indira Gandhi.
"We also want our next Prime Minister of India Shri Rahul Gandhi to contest from Karnataka & herald a new developmental paradigm," the Congress leader tweeted with the hashtag #RaGaFromKarnataka".
Is Congress leveraging the "Gandhi factor" for win against BJP in South India?
After the BJP emerged as the single largest party during the Karnataka Assembly polls last year and has also aligned with the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, another big state from South India, Congress is desperately trying to make its presence felt in the region.
Tamil Nadu and Karnataka account for 67 seats in the Lok Sabha and could determine the course of success for BJP and Congress in the upcoming polls. While the regional parties play a predominant role in the Tamil Ndau, the Congress and BJP are directly pitted against each other in Karnataka where the JD-S has agreed to contest from just eight seats.