Congress needs to decide who is their 'biggest enemy': Annie Raja on Priyanka's bid for Wayanad

Congress leaders need to decide whether the communal-fascist forces are their biggest enemy or the Left parties, CPI leader Annie Raja said Tuesday on Priyanka Gandhi being named as the party candidate for the Wayanad seat after her brother Rahul Gandhi vacated it.
Rahul Gandhi (L) Annie Raja R)
Rahul Gandhi (L) Annie Raja R)

New Delhi | Congress leaders need to decide whether the communal-fascist forces are their biggest enemy or the Left parties, CPI leader Annie Raja said Tuesday on Priyanka Gandhi being named as the party candidate for the Wayanad seat after her brother Rahul Gandhi vacated it.

Annie Raja, who had contested against Rahul Gandhi in the recently held Lok Sabha polls, said a decision on her candidature will be taken by the party leadership.

Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday said Rahul will keep the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh and vacate the Wayanad seat from where his sister Priyanka will contest.

Asked about the move, the CPI leader told PTI, "It is the decision of the Congress party. We respect their decision. It is a good thing that the UDF has announced a woman candidate. Number of women has been going down in Parliament. All political parties need to worry about this".

"UDF announced a woman candidate, I welcome that. But I had raised this question when Rahul Gandhi contested, I am asking this question to Priyanka Gandhi today with all due respect... for you and your party, who is your biggest enemy? Is it communal-fascist forces or the Left parties?" she said.

She said while the numbers of the NDA have gone down in the Lok Sabha, it does not mean the communal-fascist forces have weakened.

"Every party of the LDF is a part of the INDIA alliance, I can very well say she (Priyanka Gandhi) is also a leader of the INDIA alliance. The leader herself is fighting against a party of the alliance," she said.

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) are rivals in Kerala. At the same time, the Congress and the Left parties are part of the INDIA bloc.

"As far as Congress party is concerned, leader of Congress party Priyanka is concerned, which force do you see as the biggest enemy of your party and the people of this country... is it the fascist forces or the Left parties?" Annie Raja said.

She, however, said the move will not affect the unity of the INDIA bloc, and the CPI is committed to defeating the communal forces.

"When Narendra Modi became prime minister in 2014, the CPI had analysed that election and said it was not a simple regime change. It was a situation where attacks on democracy and the Constitution were going to happen," she said.

"Within our party congress we had passed a unanimous resolution that the biggest enemy of this country are the communal-fascist forces. No party can defeat them alone. That is why leftist, democratic and secular parties need to come together," she said.

"The CPI has always worked to strengthen the INDIA alliance. We have not done anything to weaken the INDIA bloc. The aim is to defeat the fascist forces, so the Left, democratic, secular forces should come together strongly," she said.

She also said the INDIA bloc needs to analyse if they were successful in the elections, and why they could not come to power.

"INDIA alliance should also analyse if we were successful, where we fell short, were we able to have understanding in all states... We could not come to power because everything is not alright," she said.

"The mistakes need to be corrected and the INDIA alliance should be strengthened. This is the most important thing for CPI," she said.

Asked if she would fight from Wayanad again, she said the decision will be taken by the party.

"The party will decide whether to fight or not... I will keep my opinion on the party forum. Our national executive meeting is scheduled in July, before that the Kerala leadership will be meeting. We will discuss and decide," she said.

Rahul Gandhi had won from Wayanad and Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituencies and had to vacate one of the seats within 14 days of the results, which came out on June 4.

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