New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday broke his silence on why he decided to chose Wayanad as his second seat for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections 2019. Addressing reporters at the Congress manifesto release event, Gandhi said,”South India feels hostility from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, they feel they are not being included in the decision making in the country. So, I want to send a message that I am standing with you. That is why I am standing from Kerala.”

On Monday, while addressing a rally in Wardha, Maharashtra, PM Narendra Modi had charged the grand old party with insulting “peace-loving” followers of the Hindu religion by linking them to terrorism. “Some leaders are shying away from contesting polls (in the first place). Those, whom it (Congress) called terrorist, have woken up.”

He added,”They linked peace-loving Hindus to terrorism… they are scared now to contest election from constituency where majority population dominates…they are forced to go where majority (Hindus) are in minority,” Modi said at the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance’s Lok Sabha poll campaign in Maharashtra.

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.

If reports are to be believed, Rahul Gandhi will reach Wayanad on Thursday to file his nomination for the Lok Sabha elections. Speaking to news agency IANS, Congress General Secretary and former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had said that Gandhi was expected to arrive in Kozhikode late on Wednesday and travel to Wayanad the next day.

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