Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is contesting from Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in Kerala in addition to his traditional stronghold of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, will file his nomination by 11 AM on Thursday, senior party leader Ramesh Chennithala said.
Senior Congress leader and AICC general secretary in charge of Kerala, Mukul Wasnik said Gandhi’s sister and AICC in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra would accompany him to Wayanad.
Wasnik also claimed that the announcement of 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 also said Gandhi’s candidature has made a major difference in other states,including Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
“It will get reflected in the voting,” he said.
“After Rahul Gandhi arrives today, he will meet office bearers from the congress party and the UDF partners and then his programme will be decided. Priyanka is also coming,” Wasnik said.
Earlier, sources said the Congress chief would board a helicopter to Wayanad, about 90 km from here, to file his nomination.
“A roadshow will be held tomorrow, before the filing of nomination papers, in which thousands of party workers will take part,” Chennithala told reporters here Wednesday. Senior Congress leaders, including Wasnik, K C Venugopal, Mullappally Ramachandran and Indian Union Muslim League leader K Kunhalikutty are in Kozhikode to make arrangements for the event.
Tight security is in place in Kozhikode and Wayanad districts in view of the high-profile visits.
A senior district police official told PTI that the Congress chief will arrive at 8.30 PM on Wednesday.
“He will stay at the guest house and leave for Wayanad in the morning. The time and logistics are yet to be finalised,” he said.
He said he cannot divulge the details due to security considerations.
The Congress announced on Sunday that Gandhi would contest from Wayanad constituency, besides his traditional stronghold of Amethi.
Gandhi has claimed that the people in South India “feel hostility” from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said he decided to contest from Wayanad to send out the message that he stands with them.