Wayanad set to be three-way contest with entry of K Surendran

However, political analysts believe BJP’s K Surendran could shake things up by potentially drawing traditional Congress votes, bolstering CPI’s chances. “The BJP’s seriousness in every constituency signals a tough fight for Rahul Gandhi,” remarked Avinash Mohan, an environmentalist from Kalpetta.

| Updated: 29 March, 2024 11:38 am IST
K Surendran

WAYANAD: The hilly district of Kerala, bordering Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, is poised for a riveting political showdown with K Surendran, the state BJP president, stepping into the arena. Rahul Gandhi and Annie Raja emerge as key contenders for Congress and CPI, respectively. The BJP’s decision to field its ‘captain’ signals a strategic move to make inroads into the state.

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Until March 25th, Wayanad seemed like a walkover for Rahul Gandhi, with Annie Raja posing a formidable challenge. However, political analysts believe BJP’s K Surendran could shake things up by potentially drawing traditional Congress votes, bolstering CPI’s chances. “The BJP’s seriousness in every constituency signals a tough fight for Rahul Gandhi,” remarked Avinash Mohan, an environmentalist from Kalpetta.

In 2014, Congress’ MI Shanawas won with 41.21% followed by CPI’s Sathyan Mokeri. But in 2019, Wayanad gained national significance when Rahul Gandhi contested, securing 64.4% of the votes. Yet, discontentment brews among voters, accusing Rahul Gandhi of unfulfilled promises. “What has he done for the constituency?” questions Paul Mathew, a Sulthan Bathery trader.

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Surendran anticipates a tough battle against established Congress and CPI figures, focusing his campaign on development issues. “Rahul Gandhi’s inaction mirrors his Amethi fate,” he asserted. Speaking to urban voters, many express a desire for change, citing critical issues like falling crop prices and rampant development. “We need a change,” says Omana Kutty, an Anganwadi teacher from Mananthavady.

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