New Delhi: Despite repeatedly attacking Rahul Gandhi for contesting the Lok Sabha election from Wayanad, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said he has no objection to the Congress president’s decision to fight the polls from two seats.
In an exclusive interview with News18 Network, Modi said there was nothing wrong with Gandhi’s choice as the Constitution allows anyone to contest from two seats.
But he followed it up by saying that he has another issue with the decision. “The situation under which he has had to run away from Amethi is the real issue. Having to run away from a seat that has been the family heirloom is an issue that must be talked about,” he told group editor Rahul Joshi.
There has been a raging controversy over Gandhi’s decision to fight from Wayanad, with Modi himself saying in his poll rallies that the Congress chief had picked the safest seat for himself because Hindus are in the minority in the constituency.
“The Congress dynast went out with a microscope to look for a safe seat to contest and selected a seat where the majority is in minority,” he had said at a rally in Maharashtra’s Nanded.
Other BJP leaders have also attacked the Congress chief for picking Wayanad and “running away from Amethi”.
Smriti Irani, who would be Gandhi’s opponent in Amethi, has also left no opportunity and termed the move an insult to the people of the constituency.
"A person who rode on Amethi's shoulder to enjoy power for the past 15 years has decided to leave his supporters and file nominations from another constituency. This is an insult to Amethi and a betrayal of its people," she said recently.
Gandhi is expected to file his nomination papers for Amethi on Wednesday in the presence of Sonia and Priyanka Gandhi. He had filed his nomination papers from Wayanad last week.
The Amethi seat has almost always been held by the Congress (INC), except for six years in the late 1970s and late 1990s.
Rahul Gandhi held the seat from 2004 to present. In 2014 he had defeated union textiles minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani by a margin of over 1.07 lakh votes.
Modi, when asked, why he raked up the names of Gandhi family so many times during his tenure, said he never attacked them personally and was only opposed to them ideologically. “It is an ideological belief, dynasty politics is bad for India's democracy.”
(The full interview will be aired today at 7pm and 10pm on CNN-News18, News18 India, CNBC TV18 and other News18 regional channels.)