Rahul and Priyanka in Wayanad 20190404
Congress President Rahul Gandhi with party General Secretary and Uttar Pradesh - East in charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during a roadshow after filing his nomination papers for Lok Sabha elections Image Credit: PTI

Thiruvananthapuram: Congress president Rahul Gandhi who filed his nomination for the Lok Sabha poll contest from Kerala’s Wayanad constituency on Thursday, will have to contend with three namesakes contesting the poll.

The three others with the Gandhi surname in the Wayanad poll list are among a total of 303 contestants across the 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state who have filed their nominations. The number is expected to shrink once the Election Commission completes the scrutiny of nominations.

The three others with Gandhi surnames in the Wayand poll fray are K.M. Sivaprasad Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi K.U., and Ragul Gandhi K.

Common tactics

In Indian elections, it is common for parties to find people who have names similar to their opponents and field them as dummy candidates with the hope that some voters will be confused and vote for the namesakes, thereby reducing the number of votes polled by the main opponent.

Meanwhile, local media reported that Rahul Gandhi’s assets had gone up from Rs94 million (Dh5 million) in 2014 to Rs158.87 million in 2019, quoting the declaration in his nomination papers. His total income for 2017-18 was shown as Rs11 million.

While Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest from Wayanad has given an unmistakable morale boost to the Congress campaign team in Kerala, it has annoyed the Communist Party of India Marxist, which feels that the Congress president’s decision to contest from Kerala goes against his party’s stated objective of unseating the Bharatiya Janata Party from power.

Meanwhile, the Congress candidate in the Chalakudy constituency, Benny Behanan suffered a heart ailment early on Friday morning, and underwent an angioplasty procedure. His condition was reported to be stable. Behanan had returned home around midnight when he complained of chest pain and was rushed to hospital.