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Eye on Kerala, Rahul can skip the rally with Left in Kolkata | India News

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NEW DELHI: Congressional Leader Rahul Gandhi may skip the joint rally with the Left Front called to launch the West Bengal election campaign in Kolkata this weekend, a development that can be interpreted as revolving around need of balancing contradictory situations in a series of elections. bound states.
Sources said the party appointed Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel as its representative for the joint rally at the Brigade Road field on Sunday. Rahul is said to be touring Tamil Nadu from February 27 to March 1.
However, a last minute change is not ruled out. If Rahul is not on the Kolkata stage while the left is represented by the head of the CPM, Sitaram Yechury, the optics would be ready for multiple interpretations with strands as diverse as Bengal and Kerala. Observers are likely to see it as an attempt by the congressional leader to avoid being seen in a public political embrace with the left as the two parties vie for power in Kerala.
Rahul, now a southern state deputy, is likely to lead the party’s campaign there and a joint rally in Bengal would undermine his offensive against the CPM in Kerala, many believe. While Congress could have avoided such concerns under normal circumstances where power changes hands every five years in Kerala, the situation appears to be different this time as the contest is said to be closed.
At the same time, Congress has come under pressure at the national level from like-minded parties to avoid doing everything possible against CM Mamata Banerjee, who faces a tough challenge from a resurgent BJP. Congress, as the national leader of the anti-BJP axis, may be open to such persuasion.
As a compromise, the party can leave the offensive against the TMC in the hands of its state leaders. However, the double dilemma manifested itself very early in the election season. Even the announcement of the Congress-Left alliance for the Bengal elections on December 25 came quietly.

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