BJP search on for suitable candidate to take on Rahul in Wayanad
Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 31: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s search for a suitable candidate to take on Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad is on. MP and actor Suresh Gopi's name is among the many names doing rounds.
BJP is likely to announce its candidate from Wayanad late in the evening.
Party sources have ruled out the entry of Union minister Smriti Irani. A final decision will be taken by national leadership.
Putting speculations to rest, the Congress Sunday announced that party president Rahul Gandhi will be contesting from Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in Kerala in addition to his native Amethi constituency.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, senior Congress leader A K Antony said, "Rahul ji has given his consent to contest from two seats, very happy to inform you that he will also contest from Wayanad in Kerala."
Wayanad, a constituency in north Kerala, was formed post delimitation in 2009. It encompasses a large share of tribal population 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.
The Congress is fighting the Lok Sabha polls in Kerala with its allies in the UDF coalition. Of the 20 states in the seat, the Grand Old Party will be contesting on 16 seats while allies IUML is fielding candidates on 2 seats. Kerala Congress (Mani) and RSP have got one seat each. With the exception of Wayanad, candidates have been announced for all seats by the UDF. The state goes to polls on April 23, the third phase of the seven-phase election.