'Symbol of dynasticism': BJP on Priyanka Gandhi Vadra making electoral debut from Wayanad

Congress party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra hugs each other before the media after a meeting at party President Mallikarjun Kharge's residence, in New Delhi, Monday, June 17, 2024. General Secretary KC Venugopal seen nearby.
Congress party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra hugs each other before the media after a meeting at party President Mallikarjun Kharge's residence, in New Delhi, Monday, June 17, 2024. General Secretary KC Venugopal seen nearby.

New Delhi | The BJP on Monday slammed the Congress accusing it of indulging in "dynastic politics" after party leader Rahul Gandhi decided to retain the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat and vacate Wayanad in Kerala for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to contest the by-elections from the seat.

"With Rahul Gandhi deciding to vacate the Wayanad seat and his sister to contest from there, it has become clear today that the Congress is not a political party but a company of the family," BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawala charged.

"Mother (Sonia Gandhi) will be in the Rajya Sabha, son (Rahul Gandhi) in the Lok Sabha from one (Rae Bareli) and Priyanka will also be in the Lok Sabha from another (Wayanad) seat. This is a symbol of dynasticism," he added.

The BJP's reaction came after Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said that Gandhi will keep the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh and vacate the Wayanad seat in Kerala from where his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will contest.

The BJP spokesperson termed Gandhi's decision to vacate Wayanad seat as "betrayal" with the people of the constituency and alleged the decision also makes it clear that Gandhi family's "political legacy" will remain with its son.

"This shows who is first between the son and the daughter," he charged.

Poonawalla claimed that Gandhi has decided not to leave the Rae Bareli seat as he was aware that if he does so then this seat will go into the BJP's kitty in the bye-election.

Gandhi won the Rae Bareli seat due to the Samajwadi Party's support, he said.

"Immediately after the elections, the BJP one again became strong in this seat," he claimed.

K. Surendran, who had contested on the BJP's ticket from Wayanad, is expected to be fielded against Priyanka Gandhi by the saffron party from the seat in the by-poll.

Rahul Gandhi (L) ,BJP Kerala state chief K Surendran  (R)
Rahul Gandhi (L) ,BJP Kerala state chief K Surendran (R)

Kerala BJP chief mocks Rahul's decision to vacate Wayanad seat

Wayanad (Kerala) | Kerala BJP chief K Surendran on Monday mocked the decision of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to vacate the Wayanad seat and said the grand old party was considering the state as a political ATM.

After a leadership meeting in New Delhi, 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 Gandhi Vadra will contest.

Surendran who fought against Rahul in Wayanad in the April 26 Lok Sabha polls, targeted the Congress party and said the BJP had predicted that the "perpetually missing MP" has betrayed the trust of Wayanad people.

"The BJP's prediction came true: the perpetually missing MP has finally decided to vacate the Wayanad seat, betraying the trust of its people. @RahulGandhi and the@INCIndia only turn to Kerala when in dire straits for political gain, falsely claiming Wayanad as his second home.

"The honest and lovable people of Kerala deserve better than to be exploited and abandoned. For Congress Kerala is nothing but a political ATM #RahulBetrayedKerala," Surendran posted on X.

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

Congress in Kerala welcomes Priyanka Gandhi to Wayanad

Thiruvananthapuram | The Congress party's Kerala unit on Monday welcomed Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to Wayanad and expressed confidence that she would secure a record winning margin in the high-range constituency in the upcoming bypoll.

"Rahul and the party are designating Priyanka, who is even more popular in dearest Wayanad," V D Satheesan, Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly said in a Facebook post.

She would become a darling of the entire state by securing a historic victory margin in the upcoming bypoll for the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat, the Congress leader added.

Sharing similar views, KPCC chief K Sudhakaran also welcomed Priyanka to the southern state and expressed heartfelt thanks to Rahul Gandhi for his services to Wayanad constituency.

He recalled that it was only because of the presence of Rahul that the Congress-led UDF had claimed victory in Kerala in the previous two LS polls.

Sudhakaran also said people in Kerala loved and respected him beyond party politics.

"The decision of the AICC to designate Priyanka Gandhi to represent Wayanad in the Lok Sabha as a successor to Rahul brings great joy and pride to all Congress workers in the state, including me," he said in a statement.

Sudhakaran expressed confidence that the people of Kerala, particularly those in Wayanad, would warmly welcome Priyanka, just as they had embraced Rahul Gandhi.

He hoped that the woman leader would win the Wayanad seat with a remarkable margin.

Senior party leader and former MP K Muraleedharan said Priyanka's arrival is a happy moment for the people of Wayanad.

"This is a happy moment for the people of Wayanad. In today's scenario, Rahul Gandhi cannot leave Rae Bareli. His strong work helped the party make inroads in UP again. At the same time, Priyanka Gandhi coming to Wayanad is a joyous moment for the people of Wayanad and Kerala," he said.

The Congress state unit's reaction came soon after party chief Mallikarjun Kharge announced in New Delhi that Rahul will keep the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh and vacate the Wayanad seat from where his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will contest.

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

CPI leader Annie Raja welcomes Rahul Gandhi's decision to retain Rae Bareli seat

Thiruvananthapuram | Senior CPI leader Anni Raha, who had contested against Rahul Gandhi in the recent Lok Sabha polls from Wayanad, on Monday welcomed his decision to retain the Rae Bareli seat in Uttar Pradesh and said it was a necessity in the present political circumstances prevailing in the country.

She said Rahul Gandhi and Congress party took the decision to vacate one of the constituencies as per the existing laws of the country.

"In the present political scenario, it is essential for a prominent leader like Rahul Gandhi to work in the Hindi heartland. So, there is nothing wrong in the decision," she told television channels.

When asked whether there is any chance for Priyanka Gandhi to contest as a common candidate of the India alliance, Raja said it was the collective decision taken within the alliance that in Kerala, the LDF and the UDF would contest independently in accordance with the political situation in the state.

Any change in the decision can be made only by the INDIA formation and its respective member parties, she said.

"It is happy to know that the Congress party has decided to field a woman in the bypoll. The representation of women in the Lok Sabha has come down this time compared to the previous year. So, I wish more women should come," she added.

The CPI leader's reaction came soon after the Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge announced in New Delhi that Rahul will keep the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh and vacate the Wayanad seat from where his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will contest.

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

IUML says Priyanka's presence in Parliament will strengthen INDIA formation

Malappuram (Kerala) | The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), a significant political force in the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat, on Monday expressed happiness over the Congress's decision to field Priyanka Gandhi Vadra from the hill constituency for the upcoming bypoll, saying her presence in Parliament will strengthen the opposition INDIA formation.

Panakkad Sayyid Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal, the supreme leader of the IUML, which is also a key partner in the Congress-led UDF in Kerala, said the party had suggested Priyanka should be fielded from Wayanad if Rahul vacates the seat.

"When Priyanka comes to Kerala, it will strengthen the UDF in a big way," Thangal told reporters.

Flanked by senior IUML leader P K Kunhalikutty, Thangal said it is time that Priyanka should be in Parliament as it would create self-confidence for secular democratic forces.

According to the League leaders, given the political climate in the country, Priyanka's presence will give a tough time for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Parliament.

Kunhalikutty said Priyanka will be elected with a thumping margin from the Wayanad seat.

The IUML state leadership's reaction came shortly after party chief Mallikarjun Kharge announced in New Delhi that Rahul Gandhi will retain the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh and vacate the Wayanad seat, allowing his sister Priyanka to contest from there.

Rahul had won from both the Wayanad and Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituencies and is required to vacate one of the seats within 14 days of the Lok Sabha results, which were announced on June 4.

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