Only Rahul Gandhi could have lost from the family stronghold of Amethi as the party scion perhaps pre-empting his defeat also contested albeit successfully from Kerala’s Wayanad in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. However, it seems that the Amethi story is repeating all over again as four prominent INC leaders have tendered their resignations in Wayanad district.
As Kerala prepares for the upcoming Assembly elections, the Kerala Congress seems to be struggling despite the fact that the state electorate follows a rotating model of government which gives 5 years each to the LDF and UDF governments. Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan is all set to buck this trend and retain his chair as the INC is even struggling in Rahul Gandhi’s constituency of Wayanad.
In the span of seven days, Congress’ Wayanad unit has been rocked with the resignations of former Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee member KK Vishwanathan, KPCC secretary MS Vishwanathan, DCC general secretary PK Anil Kumar and Mahila Congress leader Sujaya Venugopal.
MS Vishwanathan didn’t mince words upon his exit as he blamed his resignation on the failure of the Congress leadership in the district. “Due to neglect by the KPCC leadership and the failure of District Congress Committee, I’m resigning as the KPCC secretary post and primary membership from the party,” said Vishwanathan. He also alleged that the party was being run by a three-member team in Wayanad.
The INC has dispatched a battery of senior leaders, including K Sudhakaran to help solve the crisis crippling the party’s Wayanad unit. It will not be far-fetched to say that the spate of resignations further highlight Rahul Gandhi’s incompetent leadership.
Gandhi during his stint as the Amethi MP did little for his constituency with the brewing public anger saw BJP’s Smriti Irani trounce Gandhi in his bastion by a margin of approximately 55,000 votes.
Earlier in March 2020, Smriti Irani has tweeted, “43 years ago he came to Amethi as a 4th year MBBS student to help in the campaign against the then scion; today with the blessings of PM @narendramodi Ji, he fulfilled Amethi’s 4 decades old demand of a Government Medical College. Thank you to the good doctor @drharshvardhan Ji.”
All this while, Amethi remained as miserable as it was in the 1980s before the Nehru-Gandhi family made the constituency its bastion. Despite the VVIP MPs representing it for decades, Amethi didn’t get a single medical college or engineering college in the entire constituency, it took a Smriti Irani for a medical college to be established in Amethi.
Even in terms of social indicators, Amethi lagged behind some of the poorest constituencies in the country like Purulia in West Bengal. For example, neo-natal deaths in Purulia were 46 per 1000, and in Amethi the number was 83 per 1000. Also, fatality below five years stood at 89 per 1000 in Purulia and in Amethi it stood at 160, showing that not only were people in the constituency bereft of basic amenities, but also living in abject misery at a socio-economic level.