At his first poll rally in Kerala’s Wayanad after choosing it as his second Lok Sabha seat, Rahul Gandhi on Thursday stated he wanted to send out a message by contesting from the south.
Wayanad, Rahul Gandhi said, came first to his mind when he decided to contest from a seat in southern India apart from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. “I wanted to send a message that the South is as important as the rest of the country. Your voice is as strong as others,” he told.
In a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gandhi told he was in Wayanad to understand what’s inside to people’s hearts and not talk about his ‘Mann ki Baat’. He praised Kerala for its diversity and accused the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of trying to impose a single agenda in the country.
The Congress boss said Kerala was a perfect example of diversity where various communities live in harmony. “You know how to respect others,” he confirmed.
Giving a personal touch to his speech, Rahul Gandhi told the public he will always be with them through their problems. “Consider me as your son and best friend,” he alleged.
Before the rally, Rahul Gandhi offered prayers at Thirunelli temple and paid obeisance to his father and former PM Rajiv Gandhi whose ashes were immersed Papanasini river here.
Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said Gandhi wanted to visit the temple earlier but couldn’t due to security reasons. “He has performed all rituals for his grandmother, father, forefathers, and victims of the Pulwama incident,” alleged Venugopal.
Kerala goes to polls on April 23 in the third phase of the staggered parliamentary elections. There are 20 constituencies in the state, which is witnessing a direct fight between the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF and the Congress-headed UDF in most seats. The BJP-led NDA is also a strong contender in seats such as Thiruvananthapuram, Pathnamthitta and Thrissur constituencies.