File photos of Congress president Rahul Gandhi
It’s going to be an interesting triple-header contest in Kerala’s Wayanad constituency as Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who picked the southern state as his second seat beside traditional stronghold Amethi, is set to face his namesakes. One Rahul Gandhi has filed his nomination against the Congress president from Wayanad as an independent candidate, while another named Raghul Gandhi is also contesting from the constituency on Agila India Makkal Kazagham’s ticket.
Raghul Gandhi’s father was a Congress leader and named his children on Gandhi family leaders. Raghul’s sister’s name is Indira Priyadarshini. Later, Raghul’s father switched his loyalty to AIADMK, which is fighting the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu in alliance with the BJP.
These namesakes, however, don’t pose any big challenge to the Congress president and his main rivals remain the Left and the NDA candidates. The BJP-led NDA has fielded Thushar Vellappally against the Rahul Gandhi.
Thushar, the son of Vellappally Kesavan Natesan, is the president of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) and belongs to Ezhava community which makes 22 per cent of Wayanad's total population.
Thushar Vellappally is also the state convenor of NDA in Kerala. Earlier, his name was announced as a candidate from Thrissur. However, after Rahul Gandhi's announcement to pick Wayanad as the second seat, the NDA shifted Thushar to fight against him.
Although Vellappally's BDJS doesn't have much presence in the ground, the party is coming up as a third front in the political picture of Kerala – a southern state which has been ruled by the Left and the Congress for decades.