Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who filed his nomination from Kerala's Wayanad, on Thursday assured the CPI-M that he won't speak against the party during his campaign in the constituency. Speaking to reporters after filing his nomination at district headquarters in Wayanad, the Congress chief said, "I understand that my brothers and sisters in CPM will now speak against me and attack me, but I am not going to say a word against the CPM in my entire campaign."
CPI-M leaders, including Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, had criticised the Congress chief and questioned his resolve to fight the BJP at the national level after the latter decided to pick Wayanad as the second seat beside traditional stronghold Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. The Kerala CM had said that people of the state won't see his decision to contest from Wayanad as his fight against the BJP. He said the Congress chief should have chosen a BJP-ruled state instead of Left-governed Kerala.
Earlier in the day, the Congress chief filed his nomination from Wayanad constituency in presence of his sister and AICC general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh east Priyanka Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi, who has been representing Uttar Pradesh's Amethi since 2004, is fighting the upcoming general elections from two seats. Gandhi said that he decided to contest from the south Indian state as people of the country's southern states feel "hostility from (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi" and he wanted to send a message that he and his party was standing with them.
"I have come to Kerala to send a message that India is one, be it North, South, East or West. My aim is to send a message, there is a feeling in South India that the way Centre, Modi ji and RSS are working its like an assault on culture and languages in South," Gandhi said.
On Wednesday, not impressed by Rahul Gandhi's decision, Left parties asserted that they will teach him how to "fight elections on the ground", even as the Congress said nothing will affect its chief's prospects in the state.
"Rahul Gandhi is like an invisible God. It will be easy for him to win polls in his family bastion Amethi (Uttar Pradesh). But the soil of Wayanad is something different. We will teach him on how to fight elections on the ground," CPI's Wayanad district leader, Vijayan Cherukara, had said on Wednesday.
The Left Democratic Front (LDF) -- a coalition of left-wing parties in Kerala -- has fielded CPI's PP Suneer from the Wayanad parliamentary constituency, which has seven assembly segments, three each in Wayanad and Malappuram districts and one in Kozhikode district.