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In Kerala, the fight is between LDF and Congress-led UDF: Annie Raja

The CPI is fielding its senior leader from the Wayanad constituency currently held by Rahul Gandhi.
Last Updated 26 February 2024, 15:03 IST

New Delhi: CPI has chosen its National Executive member and National Federation of Indian Women General Secretary Annie Raja as its candidate from Rahul Gandhi’s sitting seat Wayanad in Kerala.

There is speculation that Rahul may not contest from Wayanad this time though CPI says it has no such information.

She spoke to DH’s Shemin Joy on Lok Sabha elections, her candidature and other issues.

As your candidature has been announced, one question that will be posed repeatedly would be about contesting in Rahul Gandhi’s sitting seat. How do you see this?

Wayanad is one of the four seats allotted to the CPI by the Left Democratic Front (LDF). This is not the first time CPI is fighting in Wayanad. In Kerala, the fight is between LDF and Congress-led United Democratic Front. It is against this backdrop that I am fighting this election from Wayanad.

This contest comes at a time when anti-BJP parties are coming together at national level. Will it not have an impact at the national level?

This question should actually be asked to Rahul Gandhi. One should know that the winner from this seat – a CPI candidate or a Congress candidate – will support Congress and other democratic forces at the Centre. So it's for Rahul Gandhi to reassess whether it was right for him to fight from such a seat in 2019. If the Congress was looking for a safe seat, then there were seats in Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka. The question is what kind of politics is Congress upholding. Is it to fascism or fight the CPI and the Left?

How important is Lok Sabha elections 2024?

We are going into an election when the country is facing an attack on the Constitutional values of the country. The question before people is what do you choose – democracy or fascism?

What is the main issue in this election?

The main issue is to save the Constitution and uphold Constitutional values. The Constitution provides for the Right to Life with dignity. Now to achieve this, you need jobs, health and education among other things. The Narendra Modi government has failed in providing these to people.

The BJP has won 2014 and 2019 polls and now believe they will win 2024 too. Are people willing to support the Opposition?

Media is fully under BJP’s control. There is media manipulation and a ruthless campaign run by them. People have experienced hardships over years. They have realised this and will vote out the Modi government.

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(Published 26 February 2024, 15:03 IST)

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