Kalpetta (Kerala), April 4: Congress president Rahul Gandhi filed his nomination papers from Wayanad—a Congress stronghold in south India on Thursday. Rahul is also contesting the Lok Sabha elections from his traditional bastion Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
Gandhi, accompanied by his sister Priyanka Gandhi and senior Congress leaders KC Venugopal and Mukul Wasnik, submitted the papers before district collector A R Ajayakumar at Wayanad district headquarters here.
Thousands of party workers, including men, women and youth gathered in Kalpetta town and its suburbs to see the Congress’ prime ministerial candidate.
After completing the nomination procedures at the collectorate here, Rahul Gandhi along with Priyanka Gandhi and senior leaders of the Congress-led UDF in Kerala undertook a road show to greet the voters of this constituency.
“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.
Priyanka Gandhi appealed to the people of Wayanad to take care of her brother and assured that he would not let them down. “My brother, my truest friend, and by far the most courageous man I know. Take care of him Wayanad, he wont let you down,” she tweeted after the roadshow.
Gandhi said he would “absorb all the criticisms” of the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF in Kerala, which is miffed over his Wayanad candidature, and made it clear that he will not speak against the Left parties during his campaign.
The CPI(M) and the Congress have been locked in a fight in Kerala and it will go on, he told reporters, adding he wanted to send a message of unity.
He also said there were two main issues faced by the country—lack of jobs and agrarian crisis. “Farmers are unaware of what the future holds for them. Youngsters are running from state to state searching for jobs and (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi has failed on both the fronts,” he said while attacking the PM.
Attacking Modi on the issue of corruption, the Congress leader said, “The country had faith on the prime minister when he said he would be the chowkidar. But the chowkidar himself has given Anil Ambani Rs 30,000 crore of Air Force money.
“He (Modi) has stolen money and given it to Anil Ambani who has no experience. Anil Ambani is in Rs 45,000 crore debt,” Gandhi alleged, once again attacking the NDA government over the Rafale deal.
As the massive crowd of supporters gathered on both sides of the narrow roads of Kalpetta, security personnel had a tough time controlling the people to clear the way for vehicles.