All is not well in Kerala BJP after the party announced its first list of candidates for the ensuing Lok Sabha polls.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday asked the Congress to clarify whether CPI-M or the BJP is its primary opponent in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Responding to reports that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will contest for a second time from Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency in the 2024 polls, Chief Minister Vijayan posed the question to the Congress, asking it to decide whether CPI-M or the BJP is its primary opponent in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The CPI-M Kerala leadership on Saturday raised the issue of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi contesting against the LDF from Wayanad constituency. It was in this context that CM Vijayan, who is a member of the party’s Polit Bureau, asked the Congress to decide whether the BJP or the CPI-M its primary foe.
Chief Minister Vijayan said in Thrissur that the INDIA alliance is not the front that decides where Rahul Gandhi should contest. The party should decide where Rahul Gandhi should contest from.
Vijayan said the CPI-M is the primary opponent of the Congress in Kerala as the BJP is barely in the reckoning in the Lok Sabha polls in Kerala. He added that the LDF would field its candidate in Wayanad.
The CPI-M has openly come out against Rahul Gandhi contesting from Wayanad. On Saturday, CPI-M state secretary MV Govindan had stated that Rahul Gandhi should not contest against the Left Front candidate in Wayanad if the INDIA alliance is targeting the BJP.
A day after the Congress suffered a huge setback in the state Assembly polls at the hands of the BJP, CPI-M Kerala secretary MV Govindan criticised the Congress’ move to field Rahul Gandhi from Wayand constituency and said that any politician who has common sense knows that he should not contest from Kerala in the coming parliament election.
“There is no BJP in Kerala. Rahul should contest against the BJP, not against the LDF. If the Congress leader contests against the LDF, it will give the message that the Congress’ main rival is not the BJP but the Left parties. Rahul should contest from the BJP strongholds,” MV Govindan said.
He said the Congress will not have existence in Kerala without the support of the Muslim League.
“Rahul is contesting in Kerala against the CPI which is a part of INDIA front, because the Congress couldn’t win in Uttar Pradesh. The Congress does not have influence in Hindi heartland states. The election results have proved it. The Congress has come to a situation where it could not even lead the INDIA alliance,” Govindan said.