With Wayanad contest, I want to say India is one: Rahul
Wayanand (Kerala): Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that his decision to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Wayanad in Kerala was aimed at sending out a message that India was one.
Speaking to the media before boarding a helicopter to Kozhikode after filing his nomination papers here, Rahul said: “I have come to Kerala to send a message that India is one.”
“I feel there is an assault on all institutions by (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi. I decided I will contest from south India and also from north India.”
The Congress leader accused Modi of ignoring the main issues: lack of jobs and farmers’ plight.
“Farmers do not know what is in store for them. The youths have difficulty in finding jobs.”
He said he had nothing against Kerala’s ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).
“I know the CPI-M and Congress are locked in a fight here and it will go on. But I am not going to say a word about the CPI-M. They will attack me and let them do that,” added Rahul.
Thousands gave a rousing welcome to Rahul who filed his Lok Sabha nomination from Wayanad on Thursday morning.
Arriving on a helicopter from Kozhikode, Rahul and his sister Priyanka Gandhi drove to the Wayanad Collector’s office some 500 metres away, all the time cheered by people packing both sides of the road.
Amid tight security, only a few persons were allowed to go in with them.
The Gandhis later boarded an open jeep for a road show in Wayanad, one of the economically backward regions of Kerala, accompanied by Congress general secretary Oommen Chandy.
Police personnel found it tough to handle the surging crowds. The situation became more difficult whenever Rahul Gandhi shook hands with supporters.
Rahul will be contesting from both Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, his traditional Lok Sabha constituency, as well as Wayanad.
Kerala goes to the polls on April 23 to elect 20 MPs.
At one time, there were heated exchanges between Congress leaders and Special Protection Group (SPG) officials after the latter insisted that the proposed road show might not happen due to security concerns.
But in the end the Congress leadership won the tussle. The crowds were delirious.
“I have seen Indira Gandhi when she came to Kozhikode many years back. Now I am excited that I have seen her grandchildren. I am very happy,” beamed a 78-year-old woman.
Another group of Congress activists shouted: “Rahul will win with a massive margin never seen in Kerala.”