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BJP’s Muraleedharan Predicts Catch-22 Situation For Rahul Gandhi if He Wins Wayanad and Amethi
Rahul Gandhi is not the only political heavyweight who has opted to contest on more than one seats. In the 2014 election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had fought from Vadodara and Varanasi.
BJP leader V Muraleedharan. (Image: Twitter)
New Delhi: Two days after Congress put speculations to rest by officially announcing that party president Rahul Gandhi will be contesting from Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in Kerala, senior BJP leader V Muraleedharan dismissed the possibility of it having any impact on the state.
Asserting that Kerala is unlike any other state, he told News18 that Rahul’s “so-called charisma” will not cut any ice with the people. “Other states may have a certain fascination with the Gandhi family and all things that come with the name, but how much of an impact will it have in Kerala is a huge question” he said.
This is because according to him, the Gandhi family’s charisma has a very limited impact in Kerala. The senior leader added that the Congress scion chose Wayanad because the party can’t ignore the impending defeat that awaits Gandhi in Amethi, where he will face Smriti Irani.
“Last time, he won without any efforts by us, by a margin of just one lakh. This time will be more difficult, so naturally, he wanted to find a safe seat.”
He added that if Gandhi were to win both seats, a catch-22 situation will emerge and it would be interesting to see which constituency he relinquishes.
“One scenario is Rahul Gandhi loses in Amethi and wins in Wayanad. Is he going to be available for Wayanad people? Second scenario is he wins both. Will he keep Wayanad and leave Amethi? If he leaves Wayanad and keeps Amethi, then the Wayanad people have been fooled,” he said.
However, Rahul Gandhi is not the only political heavyweight who has opted to contest on more than one seats. In the 2014 election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had fought from Vadodara and Varanasi.
When asked about this, Muraleedharan asserted that the two leaders cannot be compared and “the situation was different when it came to BJP”.
“Modi fought from Gujarat and Varanasi. He left Gujarat and opted for Varanasi, but his relationship with Gujarat continues as that is his birthplace,” he said.
For Muraleedharan, however, it remains to be seen how many times Gandhi visits the place if he wins. “Wayanad is such a remote place. In a year how many times will Rahul Gandhi visit Wayanad? Who will take care of that constituency? I think this is just initial excitement.”
Muraleedharan was also skeptical about the Muslim vote bank in the constituency. Wayanad, has seven assembly segments - three from Wayanad district, three from Malappuram and one from Kozhikode - and is touted to be a safe seat for the Congress.
In the two Lok Sabha elections that the seat has seen so far, MI Shanavas, who passed away last year, won both times for the Congress even though his margin of victory came down drastically in 2014. After Shanavas’ death, it was speculated that another Muslim candidate from either T Siddique, Shanimol Usman or KPCC secretary KP Abdul Majeed will fight from the seat.
“This time around, one among their (Muslim) community has been denied a ticket. Plus, people of Wayanad are aware that Rahul Gandhi is not going to become the PM. So, why will they vote for an opposition MP, who will not be available for them?” he asked.
He also weighed in on how this time around, it will be the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) that will be campaigning for Gandhi, more than the Congress party workers.
“It will be the Muslim League that helps the Congress. And the League will help Congress only if it means that their vote bank will remain intact. If the Congress had fielded a Muslim candidate, like earlier times, then the League would have been in a fix,” he said.
IUML is the second biggest ally of Congress in the state. Sitting Malappuram Lok Sabha member and senior IUML leader PK Kunhalikutty had said, two days ago, that the League wholeheartedly welcomed Gandhi in Wayanad.
Muraleedharan, however, feels that the Gandhi’s fight is a plus for BJP in the state. “BJP will fight it. This is our opportunity. If the Left fights them seriously, it will be difficult for Congress. And if it doesn’t fight the Congress seriously, then also it’s beneficial for us,” he said.
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