Rahul on 2-day Kerala visit; Poll brainstorming on cards

RSTV Bureau
FILE: FIle photo of Kerala CM Oommen Chandy.  Photo - PTI

FILE: FIle photo of Kerala CM Oommen Chandy.
Photo – PTI

Congress party vice president Rahul Gandhi will begin his two-day visit to poll-bound Kerala Tuesday afternoon. One of the few party strongholds is scheduled to go for assembly elections in near three months time while the ruling Congress-led UDF is marred with bribery and kickback allegations in two different cases. The party’s deputy leaders will also be taking a stock of the organisation, afflicted with intra-party faction rivalries.

In a bipolar contest, Congress-led UDF is facing a direct challenge from the Left front-led LDF. The latter has, off late been able to put the ruling front on the mat over the allegations of two separate alleged scams – Bar bribery case and Solar scam.

KM Mani, former Finance minister in the state government and the leader of UDF’s third biggest constituent – Kerala Congress (M) – was forced to step down last year over allegations of accepting bribe from a bar owner. While, the sitting Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is facing heat in the solar scam.

The state has witnessed protest by the principal opposition LDF and the BJP, which is slowly gaining some foothold in an extreme bipolar polity of the southern state.

Rahul Gandhi is expected to take the stock of poll preparations as well as address the factional issue within the party organisation. He is further slated to hold a meeting with the state unit chief VM Sudheeran and other senior party leaders in Thiruvanathapuram.

The Congress vice president will address the party workers after the ‘Janaraksha march’ taken out by KPCC President VM Sudheeran. On Wednesday, Gandhi will be addressing a KPCC Executive meet in the morning, followed by a meeting of DCC Presidents and leaders of various allied organisations of the party in the state.

Currently, Congress-led UDF is holding a wafer thin majority of 73 seats in 140-seat assembly with the opposition LDF not far behind on 67 seats. In the recently held local body polls, UDF trailed behind the LDF, while BJP emerged strong in Palakkad and Thiruvanathapuram.

During his two-day visit, Rahul Gandhi will also be visiting the ‘start up’ village at Kinfra Park and address the national executive of the party’s student outfit National Students Union of India (NSUI) at Angamally.