Mysuru : , April 9 (IANS) Commenting for the first time on Congress President Rahul Gandhi contesting also from the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in Kerala, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said fear of losing in Karnataka forced the latter to opt for a safe seat in the neighbouring state.

"For some reason if Congress 'namdar' (Rahul) wanted to contest from South India, he could have chosen any constituency in Karnataka where his party is in power with the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S). But not sure of getting support from the ally and fearing defeat, he opted to contest from Wayanad," said Modi at a BJP election rally here, about 150km southwest of Bengaluru.

Apart from re-contesting from his home constituency Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, Gandhi on April 5 filed nomination to contest from Wayanad for the first time in south India though the ruling Left party criticised it.

"If Rahul wanted to represent in Parliament from south India, he should have contested from Karnataka. But the Congress was afraid JD-S supremo H.D. Deve Gowda would get Gandhi defeated to avenge fall of his United Front-Left Front (UDLF) government after Congress withdrew support in April 1997," recalled Modi.

The UDLF coalition government fell 10 months after Gowda took office on June 1, 1996.

Rahul is the third in the Gandhi family to contest from south India after his mother Sonia Gandhi contested and won from the Bellary Lok Sabha seat in 1999 and his grandmother Indira Gandhi from Chikkamagalur in Karnataka in 1978.

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