New Delhi: “What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” said Shakespeare in his popular Romeo and Juliet play. But it is not much the same when it comes to politics, particularly in a high-decibel electoral battle. A well-known name is a sure shot way to instant recognition.
While the Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest Lok Sabha polls from Wayanad in Kerala drew the attention of the country to the constituency, what, in fact, makes the story more riveting is that the AICC President was up against four other Gandhis who contested for the same seat. Of the four Gandhis, one of them exactly shared the same name as Rahul Gandhi with a suffix K.E. as his initials, the others are namely, Raghul Gandhi and K M Sivaprasad Gandhi.
Rahul Gandhi K. E, who contested as an independent candidate, is a social activist from Kottayam district in Kerala. Sivaprasad Gandhi is a research scholar from Thrissur and contested on the Gandhian Party ticket. Interestingly, he added the suffix ‘Gandhi’ to his name only after he joined the political party. While Sivaprasad Gandhi and Raghul Gandhi filed their nominations before the AICC President, but Rahul Gandhi K.E. jumped in the fray only after the Congress leader filed his papers. In all, 22 candidates contested from Wayanad Lok Sabha seat for which polling concluded on Tuesday.
Besides Rahul Gandhi the Congress President, Raghul Gandhi has some recognition among the other two Gandhis. He contested from Agila India Makkal Kazhagam and hails from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Raghul Gandhi is not new to politics. He had earlier contested for Coimbatore Mayor in 2014 and for Tamil Nadu Assembly in 2016. He lost the elections on both these occasions. He says that his father had given him the name after the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi. Interestingly, Raghul Gandhi’s sister name is Indira Priyadarshini named after former Prime Minister and Congress leader Indira Gandhi. This is because Raghul Gandhi’s father was a staunch Congress supporter, who had actively campaigned for the age old party for 30 years.
When asked about why he had to contest against the AICC President, Raghul Gandhi said it was done with an intention to get publicity for his demands. His primary demand is that the government provide the national language status to Dravidian languages. And, the second demand is to do away with all the taxes collected from the citizens.
Although political parties and individuals in the past have tried to confuse voters by fielding candidates with same names, but, with the introduction of symbols and photographs besides the name of candidate, voters can be sure of whom they are voting. Likewise, Rahul Gandhi of the Congress had the symbol of a hand, Raghul Gandhi had a bucket as his symbol against his name. On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi K.E. had an hour glass as his symbol and Sivaprasad Gandhi had a symbol of air conditioner against his name.
Also Read: Rahul Gandhi In Wayanad To File Nomination