NEW DELHI: A suggestion that Rahul Gandhi should not contest the 2024 Lok Sabha polls from Wayanad, where CPI is the principal opponent of Congress, has led to some consternation in both parties. While Congress has rejected such a push and said a decision will be taken later, CPI has asserted that this was merely an opinion voiced at an internal party forum and that no formal discussion has been held over this so far.
The proposal that CPI should ask Congress – both constituents of the INDIA bloc – to reconsider its decision to field Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad was made by Rajya Sabha MP Sandosh Kumar P at CPI’s national executive last week. Kumar is understood to have argued that as partners in INDIA, constituent parties must make an effort to build a contest against BJP rather than against each other.
Though Kumar declined to comment on what he said was an “internal party matter made at a party forum”, speaking to TOI, CPI general secretary D Raja said, “We discussed elections in a general way where states presented their reports and opinions were shared. No formal discussions have happened so far.”
While the suggestion has only surfaced within CPI for now, it may cause some pique for Congress in coming months as more smaller parties and regional partners push for a “spirit of accommodation” in the pre-poll INDIA grouping in which Congress is the largest partner with its pan-India footprint.The first test of such a demand will present itself in the five assembly elections to Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Telangana, where smaller parties, including the CPI, will push for being accommodated in the ticket distribution process.

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