Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is contesting from Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in Kerala apart from his traditional stronghold of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, reached Kozhikide late on Wednesday night to file his nomination. The Congress president is scheduled to file his papers at 10.30 am on Thursday.
Gandhi was accorded warm welcome by party workers and supporters when he arrived at the Kozhikode international airport on Wednesday night. He is to leave for Wayanad in the morning after spending the night at a guest house in Kozhikode.
The party said in Kerala Gandhi’s sister and AICC in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra would accompany him to Wayanad.
Senior leader Ramesh Chennithala said a roadshow would be held before the filing of nomination papers, and thousands of party workers would take part in it.
Congress President @RahulGandhi is received by a huge crowd of well wishers as he arrives in Calicut to file his nomination for the Lok Sabha elections from the Wayanad constituency. @INCKerala pic.twitter.com/aKcjl9lMOp
— Congress (@INCIndia) April 3, 2019
Senior Congress leader and AICC general secretary in charge of Kerala Mukul Wasnik said the Gandhi’s candidature had enthused the people of the constituency. “The entire Congress party and the UDF had invited Rahul ji to contest in Kerala. Similar invitations were extended from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Finally taking into consideration the feelings of the party members and the alliance partners, Rahulji decided to contest in Wayanad. Since the time this announcement was made, we can see tremendous enthusiasm among the party members and the people,” he told reporters.
Wasnik added that Gandhi’s candidature had made a major difference in the neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. “It will get reflected in the voting,” he said.
The Wayanad parliamentary constituency has seven assembly segments, three each in Wayanad and Malappuram districts and one in Kozhikode district.
Senior Congress leaders including Wasnik, K C Venugopal, Mullappally Ramachandran and Indian Union Muslim League leader K Kunhalikutty were in Kozhikode on Wednesday to make arrangements for the event. Tight security is in place in both Kozhikode and Wayanad districts in view of the high-profile visits.
Later in the day, Rahul Gandhi will leave for Maharashtra where he will address a public meeting at Kasturchand Park in Nagpur at 4.30 pm.
Meanwhile, Left parties are not happy with Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Wayanad in Kerala. They said they would teach him how to “fight elections on the ground”.
“We are fighting this polls to win,” a senior CPI leader said on Wednesday. The LDF has fielded CPI’s PP Suneer from Wayanad.