New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday announced the candidature of Thushar Vellapally, president of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena, from Kerala’s Wayanad Lok Sabha seat where he will take on Congress president Rahul Gandhi.  “I proudly announce Shri Thushar Vellappally, President of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena as NDA canddate from Wayanad. A vibrant and dynamic youth leader, he represents our commitment towards development and social justice. With him, NDA will emerge as Kerala’s political alternative,” tweeted BJP chief Amit Shah.

Earlier on Sunday, senior Congress leader AK Antony, while addressing a press conference informed that Congress president Rahul Gandhi will contest upcoming Elections from Kerala’s Wayanad constituency apart from Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi. The mega announcement came a few days after Gandhi asserted that he was open to contest the polls from a second seat other than Amethi.

Reports claimed that top Congress leaders in Kerala, including All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Oommen Chandy and leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, had urged Gandhi to contest from the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in Kerala.

Meanwhile, Congress President Rahul Gandhi is expected to reach Wayanad on Thursday to file his nomination for the Lok Sabha elections, Congress General Secretary and former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said today.
Speaking to news agency IANS, Chandy said that Gandhi was expected to arrive in Kozhikode late on Wednesday and travel to Wayanad the next day.

Wayanad became a Lok Sabha constituency in 2009. Congress’ MI Shanawaz had registered thumping victory that year (2009) by a margin of 1,53,439 votes. However, his margin dropped to 20,870 in 2014, and last year he passed away after a long illness. The seat has been lying vacant since then.

Wayanad will vote on April 23 and counting of votes will take place on May 23.