Home INDIA Rahul Gandhi vs Kerala BJP Chief K Surendran In Wayanad Contest

Rahul Gandhi vs Kerala BJP Chief K Surendran In Wayanad Contest

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Rahul Gandhi vs Kerala BJP chief K Surendran in Wayanad contest


Wayanad, a Congress stronghold, has been a member of the party since 2009.

New Delhi:

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will take on Kerala BJP chief K Surendran in the high-profile Wayanand constituency during the Lok Sabha elections.

Wayanad, a Congress stronghold, has been a member of the party since 2009. Gandhi won the party in 2019 and retained his Lok Sabha membership after losing his Amethi seat to Union Minister Smriti Irani.

His rival, Mr Surendran, has the important task this time to challenge the Congress-Left divide in the political landscape of Kerala. Both the Congress and the Left form a national alliance, though they remain rivals in this southern state.

In the 2019 general elections, Surendran finished third in the Pathanamthitta constituency, behind the Congress and the Left. He had lost the 2016 Assembly elections from Manjeswaram by just 89 votes. He also contested a bypoll in 2019 but lost it too.

He was appointed head of the BJP’s Kerala unit in 2020 and became the face of the protests against the entry of young women into Sabarimala years ago.

Mr Surendran, who hails from Kozhikode, was in the BJP’s fifth list of candidates, which also included actor Kangana Ranaut and former judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay of the Calcutta High Court.

After Thiruvananthapuram, Wayanad is the second seat in Kerala to witness a titanic battle, where Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar will take on three-time Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.

The BJP has also fielded former vice-chancellor of Sree Sankara Sanskrit University KS Radhakrishnan from Ernakulam and actor-turned-politician G Krishnakumar from Kollam. TN Sarasu, a former teacher, will contest from Alathur in Palakkad.

The highlight of the BJP’s fifth list was the electoral debut of actor Kangana Ranaut from Mandi in her home state of Himachal Pradesh. The list, which had 111 candidates in 17 states, also included new candidates such as industrialist Naveen Jindal and Mr Gangopadhyay.

Mr Gangopadhyay, who recently joined the BJP after taking voluntary retirement, is the first former judge to join electoral politics. He has been appointed from Tamluk in Bengal and will take on Trinamool’s Debangshu Bhattacharya, a youth leader who wrote their iconic ‘Khela Hobe’ song.

Varun Gandhi, a sitting MP from Pilibhit, has been dropped and his seat has gone to Jitin Prasada, who switched to the BJP from the Congress in the run-up to the elections. His mother Maneka Gandhi has been dismissed from her current seat, Sultanpur.

Actor Arun Govil, who played Ram in the popular TV series Ramayan, will participate from Meerut. Union ministers Ashwini Kumar Choubey and General VK Singh were also part of the list.

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