Thiruvananthapuram: Congress leaders in Kerala are keeping their fingers crossed, hoping that their request to party chief Rahul Gandhi to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Wayanad constituency would be accepted.
Senior party leader and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the presence of Rahul Gandhi in the poll arena in Kerala would give a huge boost to party workers and that was why they wanted him to contest from Wayanad as a second constituency.
"However, the final decision has to be taken by Gandhi. He returned to Delhi late after campaigning in Patna," Chandy told reporters on Sunday.
The Congress has already announced that Gandhi would be contesting from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
Another senior leader P C Chacko said the party chief was yet to confirm if he would contest from Wayanad.
"Nothing has been decided on Rahul Gandhi's candidature from Wayanad.
He is the one who should decide on that. It's not right on the part of certain leaders making statements that Rahul has agreed or Rahul has responded positively.
I don't know who is spreading lies. Don't dream of putting pressure on Rahul and force him to become a candidate," Chacko said.
It was not right to "spread rumours" in this regard, chacko said.
He also said that the All India Congress Committee (AICC) was not happy with the factional war in the Congress unit in Kerala.
Opposition leader in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala demanded that the CPI(M) clarify whether they would withdraw the Left candidate in Wayanad if Rahul Gandhi contests from there.
Senior CPI(M) leader S Ramachandran Pillai said whichever candidate the UDF brings in Kerala, LDF will put up a fight.
The LDF will fight the Congress chief politically in the Lok Sabha election if he contests in Wayanad, he said.
CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran said his party, which is contesting in the Wayanad seat for the Left Democratic Front (LDF), was not going to withdraw its candidate for a stronger one.
"Wayanad constituency has got a good presence of LDF voters since the last Assembly election.
P.P. Suneer is the best candidate to fight Rahul Gandhi. I think it's Rahul's fate to lose to Suneer in this election," Rajendran told reporters.
BJP state President P S Sreedharan Pillai said they would fight tooth and nail if Rahul Gandhi contests in Wayanad.
The state BJP leadership is also keeping a close watch on the recent development of talks on Rahul's candidature and the party was holding discussions to take back the Wayanad seat from its ally BDJS.
Springing a surprise, the Congress in Kerala had Saturday suggested party chief Rahul Gandhi's name for the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat, a party bastion in the State.
Meanwhile, jubiliant youth congress workers in Wayanad poured milk on a huge cutout of Rahul Gandhi as part of their celebration this morning.