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'Why is Rahul not competing against BJP directly...' Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan mocks Gandhi's Wayanad contest

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan criticized Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for contesting against Annie Raja of the CPI in Wayanad, questioning Gandhi's role and decision-making. Vijayan accused Gandhi of targeting the Left Democratic Front (LDF) instead of confronting the BJP directly.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Why is Rahul not competing against BJP directly Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan mocks Gandhi's Wayanad contest
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First Published Apr 2, 2024, 2:59 PM IST

Kerala Chief Minister and seasoned Marxist leader Pinarayi Vijayan took a swipe at Congress leader and incumbent Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi on Monday for contesting against Annie Raja of the CPI, a key constituent of the opposition's INDIA bloc. Vijayan criticized Gandhi, highlighting Raja's national leadership within the CPI and her vocal stance against the BJP government's actions during the Manipur violence. He questioned Gandhi's role in such critical situations and his decision to contest against Raja in Wayanad.

During an election campaign in Wayanad, where CPI's Annie Raja is pitted against Rahul Gandhi and BJP's K Surendran, Vijayan criticized the Congress for its perceived inconsistency. He accused Gandhi of targeting the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Wayanad instead of directly confronting the BJP at the national level.

He said, "Rahul Gandhi is coming to Kerala and contesting against Annie Raja in Wayanad. She holds a national leadership position in the CPI and was labelled anti-national during the Manipur violence for vocally opposing the BJP government's actions. It was her investigative efforts that exposed the injustices faced by the Christian population in Manipur. What was Rahul Gandhi's role in that scenario? Can he provide any insight? Whenever the country witnessed such protests, Annie Raja's presence was notable. However, did we witness the Congress Party's most prominent leader, Rahul Gandhi, during those times? While the Congress party has the prerogative to decide candidates, the entire nation has questioned the appropriateness of his decision to contest in Kerala instead of directly challenging the BJP at the national level."

Vijayan further condemned the Congress for the defections of its leaders to the BJP, which, he argued, undermines the party's reliability at a time when secular forces are challenging the BJP's dominance in the country. 

The Lok Sabha elections are scheduled to be held in seven phases, beginning on April 19. In addition to the 543 Lok Sabha seats, the Election Commission of India has announced assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, and Odisha, as well as assembly by-polls for 26 vacant seats. Kerala, with its 20 Lok Sabha seats, will go to polls in a single phase on April 26. Vote counting is slated for June 4.

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