Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Two NDA candidates against Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad? BJP announces candidate as ally RPI(A), already started campaigning

Two weeks later, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced their Kerala chief, K Surendran, as the BJP candidate for Wayanad in their fifth candidate list, despite the Republican Party of India (Athawale) (RPI), a member of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), recently declaring their national vice president Nuzarath Jahan as their candidate for the Wayanad constituency in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Both the RPI(A) and BJP candidates are asserting that they will represent the Modi government to the voters, while the BJP in Kerala stated that the RPI(A) is not a part of the Kerala NDA.

RPI(A)’s chief and Union Minister, Ramdas Athawale, while announcing Jahan’s candidature, said he announced it with the agreement of the saffron party, stating that they agreed to allocate one seat in each state.

However, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) delayed announcement, nearly two weeks after RPI(A) disclosed its candidate, has placed RPI(A) in a precarious position.

Jahan, speaking to The Fourth after announcement of Surendran’s candidature, asserted that she would not withdraw her candidature and would stand by her party’s name. “I am not going to withdraw,” she said.

Even though Surendran and Jahan are contesting, their chances of winning are nearly zero. Wayanad, the political stronghold of the Congress party, serves as both the electoral base and the contesting constituency for Congress former chief Rahul Gandhi.

Despite facing competition from prominent CPI national leader Ani Raja, analysts widely anticipate that Wayanad will prove to be a straightforward victory for Rahul Gandhi, a potential prime minister candidate of the grand old party.

After both the Congress and CPI, members of the INDIA alliance, announced their prominent leaders from the same constituency, criticism and jests abounded. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was prominent among the critics.

“These two parties unleash violence on each other, they attack each other… In Kerala, they are each other’s enemies but outside Kerala, they are BFFs…friends who sit and eat together. The Left wants the crown prince (denoting Rahul) of Congress to be ousted from Wayanad… These people are advising the crown prince to stay out of Kerala,” Modi took a dig at the INDIA alliance earlier this month.

Now, as the NDA witnesses a similar scenario with conflicting nominations from its allied parties in Wayanad, the political landscape only grows more complex. With both RPI(A) and BJP fielding candidates despite slim chances of victory, the ensuing contest reflects not just electoral strategies but also the intricate dynamics within the alliance.

Critics are quick to draw parallels, emphasizing the contradictions within alliances when it comes to regional versus national interests, echoing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s earlier remarks.

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