Rahul Gandhi’s move to contest from Kerala’s Wayanad district has raised eyebrows and of course is hotly debated in political circles. A lot of thought must have gone into that decision within the party circles and outside. I suspect that Congress is trying to give the Indian electorate a message that Rahul is a pan-India leader more than a Congress candidate. Should he get elected from both Amethi in the North and Wayanad in the South, it will drive home that point adequately.
As for the Congress party, south India is of immense significance this elections, and more specifically Kerala. Congress will be pinning its hopes on the state and hoping to regain its lost glory. They formed a government alongside the UDF in 2011 but were knocked out by the Left Democratic Front in 2016. The Congress might not be looking to target the LDF but would look at stopping the BJP from making inroads.
The Sabarimala issue and vigilante violence has rocked the ruling government in recent months and Congress would seek to make some gains of that. With Rahul’s entry the LDF and the NDA will need to rework their poll strategies.