With sister Priyanka Gandhi by his side, Congress president Rahul Gandhi Thursday filed his nomination from Wayanad in Kerala and said he is fighting the Lok Sabha polls from a second seat in the south besides the party bastion Amethi in the north to send a message of unity and that “India is one”.
In a bid to reach out to the Left, Gandhi, 48, also said he wouldn’t say a word against the state’s CPI(M)-led LDF government during his campaign and that he would “absorb all its criticisms with happiness”. The Left is is miffed with Gandhi’s candidature from Wayanad.
Wayanad will witness a triangular contest with Left Front constituent CPI’s P P Suneer and BJP-backed NDA candidate Thushar Vellappally also in the fray.
Gandhi, who was also accompanied by senior Congress leaders K C Venugopal and Mukul Wasnik, submitted the nomination papers before district collector A R Ajayakumar at Wayanad district headquarters in Kalpetta.
Hundreds of workers of Congress and other allies in the party-led UDF assembled outside the district collectorate as Gandhi filed the nomination. Wayanad, a scenic hill area in the Western Ghats of Kerala, has a presence of various ethnic tribal groups. It is a Congress stronghold in South India.
Braving the scorching heat, thousands of party workers–both men and women–gathered in Kalpetta town and its suburbs to have a glimpse of Rahul Gandhi.
After completing the nomination procedures at the collectorate, Rahul Gandhi along with Priyanka Gandhi and senior leaders of the Congress-led UDF in Kerala undertook a roadshow to greet the voters of the constituency.
The narrow lanes of Kalpetta town were packed with excited onlookers waiting in anticipation for the Congress chief and other party leaders, including Priyanka Gandhi.
Talking to reporters after filing his nomination, Rahul Gandhi said he was fighting the polls from down south to send a message that India was one.
“I have come to Kerala to send a message that India is one. South, north, east, west, centre… all are one… There is an assault taking place across the country by the RSS and BJP. I just want to send a message and I will stand from south India and north India. My aim was to give a message,” he said.