Congress President Rahul Gandhi files his nomination from Wayanad constituency in Kerala on Thursday. This will be the second constituency he will be contesting from apart from Amethi  in Uttar Pradesh, which has been considered a stronghold of the Gandhis.

Rahul Gandhi received a grand welcome at the Kozhikode International Airport accompanied by his sister and congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday night. Security has been beefed up in wayanad which rose to prominence with Rahul Gandhi announcing his decision to contest from the constituency.

The Congress President is likely to address a rally before filing his nomination. According to reports Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will be campaigning for brother Rahul for a couple of days in the region.  Congress leaders in the state expressed glee over the party chief’s visit. “Rahul Gandhi is busy campaigning in other parts of India. However, he is scheduled to visit wayanad constituency again for canvassing before the elections begin” said a party member.

Kerala is going for polls in the third phase scheduled on 23rd April and counting to take place on 23rd May. April 4th is the last day to file nominations in the constituency.

Rahul Gandhi will face Communist Party of India (CPI) candidate PP Suneer and the National Democratic alliance candidate Thushar Vellapally. Vellapally is the chief of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena Party and sealed an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). BJP is reportedly roping in many national leaders including Smriti Irani (Rahul Gandhi’s opponent in Amethi) to campaign for Thushar Vellapally in Wayanad.

An irked CPI has decided to take on the grand old party on the environment front. They are planning to rake up the issue of non-consideration of the recommendations of panels set up by UPA on the ecologically sensitive Western Ghats. The Madhav Gadgil Committee in 2010 recommended a larger area to be left untouched due to its ecological importance. But the UPA ignored the environmentalist’s recommendations and set up another Kasturirangan Committee which diluted the provisions considerably leading to widespread eviction and protests in the region.

“A large part of the wayanad constituency falls in the eco-sensitive ghat region . This issue will definitely help CPI ward off the Congress in Kerala” said a senior CPI leader.

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