Congress has finally announced the candidature of its president Rahul Gandhi from Kerala's Wayanad, a safe seat for the party. Gandhi’s primary opponent is CPI’s P P Suneer. The Left has found this move baffling but is not ready to budge. It wants Congress to clear its stand on whether the BJP is its main enemy or the Left. CPI says it will not withdraw its candidate. DH's Shemin Joy spoke to CPI National Secretary D Raja on the developments.
Rahul Gandhi has decided to contest from Kerala's Wayanad. How do you respond to this?
I don't understand what is the politics they are trying to do. Why this move from Congress? In Kerala, it is the Left versus Congress-led UDF. By choosing a constituency in Kerala for Rahul Gandhi, what message is the Congress conveying to the country? Who is their enemy in the election? We all are saying the primary objective is to defeat the communal, fascist BJP in the Lok Sabha elections and remove the Narendra Modi government to save the country, save the Constitution and protect democracy.
What message is the Congress trying to send out by contesting in Kerala where the main fight is between the Left and the Congress?
Any Kerala leader can contest against the Left but fielding Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad does not send a correct political message across the country. They are contesting against the Left and not the BJP.
Will it affect the Opposition unity at the national level?
Definitely, they should think about it. The onus is on the Congress to decide what sort of politics it wants to practice in this country.
There has been a demand from sections of Congress when Rahul Gandhi's name was speculated for Wayanad that the CPI candidate P P Suneer should withdraw from the contest. Will you do so?
No. We will not withdraw. Why should we withdraw? Why are they asking CPI to withdraw the candidate? That's horrible. They are trying to sort out their internal problems within the Congress unit in Kerala through this candidature. Let them first explain the politics behind this move. Does Congress has any clarity on whom they are fighting? Let them first clear their ideological position.
So you are asking the Congress whether its fight is against the Left or BJP?
We are very clear about our position that the primary aim is to defeat the BJP. If they do not have clarity, that is their issue. Let them explain their position. We will fight Wayanad.