South India feels hostility from Modi: Rahul

Congress President Rahul Gandhi. PTI file photo

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said his decision to contest the Lok Sabha election from Wayanad in Kerala was to send a message of solidarity with South India, which feels hostility from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“South India feels hostility from Narendra Modi. I wanted to send message, that I am standing with you,” Rahul told reporters here when asked about the reason for selecting Wayanad as the second seat apart for his traditional Amethi parliamentary constituency.

The Congress president contended that there was a very strong feeling in South India that they were not carried along by the Modi government while taking decisions for the nation.

“That is why I am standing with Kerala,” Rahul said.

Congress decision to field Rahul from Wayanad has riled the Left parties, who wanted the grand old party to clarify whether it was opposed to the BJP or its prospective alliance partners.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had hit out at Rahul for selecting Wayanad constituency claiming that the place has less than 50% Hindu voters.

The Congress president, on Tuesday, dismissed the prime minister's remarks as an attempt to divert attention from real issues such as unemployment, rural distress and women's security.

“He (Modi) is hiding in fear. I challenge him to a public debate on all these issues, on national security, corruption... Narendra Modi may be afraid, but we will defeat him,”Rahul said.

Rahul is scheduled to file his nomination papers from Wayanad on April 4, the last date for filing of nomination papers for constituencies going to polls in the third phase of Lok Sabha elections.

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