The shade of red on the Kozhikode beach on Wednesday evening was darker than usual as CPI(M) workers carrying party flags filled the area to mark the culmination of the Kerala Raksha Yatra led by party’s State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.

Among the party workers who took part were women and youths. The flow of people, representing different regions and constituencies from the Malabar districts, to the beach was continuous.

Mr. Vijayan, accompanied by CPI(M) leaders including its Central and State committee members, reached the venue around 7 p.m. amidst loud cheers from the party workers and supporters. Party general secretary Prakash Karat, who was to inaugurate the concluding session, had already arrived at the venue by then.

The last leg of the event witnessed a spirited red volunteer march accompanied by band troupes, specially decorated vehicles, and exhilarating announcements.

The entire area of the conference was decorated with filigrees and party flags giving a festive atmosphere to the beach with multi-coloured fireworks lighting up the skies. Slogans by party workers rented the air.

Vehicular traffic on the beach road was blocked by the evening and was partially regulated in the pocket roads that led to the beach to facilitate the march. A large contingent of media had also camped in the area.

Former Mayor and senior party leader from the district M. Bhaskaran welcomed the gathering amidst loud rounds of applause.

Party veteran and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly V.S. Achuthanandan was conspicuous by his absence on the stage, where leaders of almost all allies of the Left Democratic Front were present. The welcome speech was followed by the inaugural address of Mr. Karat, which was translated by the party State secretariat member Elamaran Karim into Malayalam.

Several people, including the family members of party workers who had lost their lives in various political strives, high achievers in various fields, and figures from cultural and literary fields, were felicitated. Individuals who had contributed to the society in their respective fields including music, art, sports, theatre, film and sculpture were also honoured.

Magician Pradeep Huddino, who was among the feted artists, also staged a few items of magic on stage inviting loud rounds of applause from the audience.

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