Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency in north Kerala has been catapulted to the national limelight with Congress President Rahul Gandhi deciding to contest from the hilly district.
After a week-long suspense, Congress formally announced that Gandhi would try his luck from Wayanad, besides Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, giving the much needed boost to the Congress led United Democratic Front (UDF) workers
The late M I Shanavas (Cong-UDF) had successfully represented the constituency in 2014 and 2009 defeating LDF candidates.
He passed away in November last year.
The LDF candidate in Wayanad this time is P P Suneer of the CPI.
The BJP has given the seat to its partner BDJS (Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) and has not formally announced its candidate here so far.
The predominantly agrarian constituency, Wayanad, where coffee, tea, cocoa, pepper, tea and Cardamom are the chief agricultural crops, is also a much sought after tourist destination with its stone age carvings of Edakkal caves, scenic locales, breathtaking waterfalls.
It is also a trekkers delight, with some of its peaks towering 2,100 metres above sea level.
Wayanad constituency consists of Mananthavady, Sulthan Bathery, Kalpetta, Thiruvambady, Ernad, Nilambur and Wandoor segments and has a total voter population of 13,25,788, of whom 6,70,0002 are females.
Wayanad also has a large mix of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe community.
Perched on the western ghats, Wayanad shares its borders with Mysore and Chamarajanagar in Karnataka and Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu.
It was carved out from Kozhikode and Malappuram districts on November 1 1980 as the 12th district of Kerala and has 886.92 sq km of area under forest.