Rahul, Rahul KE, Raghul – the Many Gandhis of Wayanad This LS Poll

The sleepy town of Wayanad, in Kerala attained political stardom after Congress President Rahul Gandhi decided to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from there.

Incidentally, the Congress president is not the only Gandhi to contest the elections from Wayanad, as there are three more Gandhis contesting for the same seat among the 22 candidates fighting for the Lok Sabha seat from Kerala.

In fact, one of the Gandhis contesting from Wayanad is Rahul Gandhi K E while another candidate’s name is Raghul Gandhi. Fortunately, the fourth Gandhi contesting from Wayanad is not a Rahul, but KM Sivaprasad Gandhi.

Only Rahul Gandhi K E, a social worker from Kottayam, Kerala is contesting from Wayanad independently. Coimbatore resident Raghul Gandhi is representing the Agila India Makkal Kazhagam while Thrissur resident and research scholar KM Sivaprasad Gandhi is representing the Indian Gandhiyan Party.

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi files his nomination from Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency as party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra looks on, ahead of the general elections, on Thursday, 4 April 2019.

Gandhi All the Way!

In order to mitigate voter confusion rising out of similar first and last names, the Election Commission has mandated that the photograph of the candidate be affixed along with the name and the symbol of the candidate.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s election symbol is the Congress hand, whereas the election symbol for Rahul Gandhi K E and Raghul Gandhi is the hourglass and a bucket, respectively. Sivaprasad Gandhi’s election symbol is an air conditioner.

In fact, three of the four Gandhis filed their election affidavits around the same time –Rahul Gandhi on 4 April along with Raghul Gandhi; but the latter had his affidavit notarised on 1 April and former had his notarised on 2 April. Meanwhile, Sivaprasad Gandhi filed his affidavit on 1 April and the last of the namesakes, Rahul Gandhi K E filed his affidavit on 12 April.

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What’s in A Name?

Everyone knows Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s ancestry – grandson of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

It was Rahul Gandhi K E’s father who named him after the Congress president out of respect for the party, while K M Sivaprasad added the moniker ‘Gandhi’ to his last name after he joined the Gandhiyan Party in honour of the ‘Father of the Nation’ Mahatma Gandhi.

Raghul’s grandfather A Palanisamy was a freedom fighter and a Congress supporter while his late father Krishnan P, was part of the Congress for 30 years. Krishnan’s devotion to the Congress reflected in his two children’s name – Raghul Gandhi and his sister Indira Priadarshini.

Besides the Gandhi scion, Raghul Gandhi has some election experience, having contested for the Mayor of Coimbatore in 2014 and for the same Assembly seat in 2016.

He would have contested from Coimbatore this year as well, if only his affidavit was not rejected by the Election Commission on account of his name sounding similar to that of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

While there’s no doubt that the Congress President is the most famous of the Gandhis in the fray for Wayanad, the three lesser-known Gandhis add more colour to an already frenzied election season this year.

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