Congress President Rahul Gandhi (Photo: IANS)
New Delhi: In a major decision, the Congress on Sunday announced that party President Rahul Gandhi will contest the Lok Sabha polls from Wayanad in Kerala, apart from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
The announcement was made at a press conference here by senior party leader AK Antony and the party's communications in-charge, Randeep Singh Surjewala.
The Congress had been given indications that Gandhi will contest from a seat in the south and Wayanad was mentioned as a possible choice.
Gandhi, who has been representing Amethi, won the seat by a reduced margin in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls by defeating Union Minister Smriti Irani and she is challenging him again in the constituency in the 2019 elections.
Surjewala said Gandhi will be contesting from a seat that in a way represents three southern states.
"It will be a message of unity of the the north and the south," he said.
Surjewala accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of causing divisions and said that the lives of people in south India was important to the Congress.
He also said that Gandhi has "family ties" with Amethi and the "BJP's dirty conspiracies cannot break it".
Asked which seat will Gandhi retain if he wins both in Amethi and Wayanad, Surjewala said that when the Congress forms a government following the polls, the party President will represent the entire country.