Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi made a cameo appearance at the Yuva Kerala Yatra undertaken by the Youth Congress State unit at 10th mile near Nooranad in the district on Monday.
Mr. Gandhi, who arrived at the Cochin International Airport in the morning, joined the Youth Congress activists by 4.25 p.m. He walked with the yatra team for about a kilometre, much to the delight of party workers, before getting into a vehicle at Erumakuzhi.
The crowd, shouting slogans and cheering, went into a frenzy as Mr. Gandhi joined them, threw all security arrangements to the wind and rushed forward to get a glimpse of him and walk with him. Senior Congress leaders and security personnel had a tough time throwing a security cordon around Mr. Gandhi. A few party leaders and workers fell on the road as the enthusiastic crowd pushed forward to walk with the leader. Mr. Gandhi cheered the supporters and waved at the crowd that gathered on the flanks of the road.
Vehicular movement on the Kayamkulam-Adoor route came to a standstill for hours together as the rally passed through the area. Youth Congress activists turned up in huge numbers at the rally.
Mr. Gandhi walked into the rally from behind and found his way through the crowd to reach the frontline.
Later, he left for Ernakulam in Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala’s car. As the vehicle ran out of diesel near Mancombu, it led to a security concern. Mr. Gandhi interacted with the people when the car was being fuelled at a pump.
The Union Ministers Kodikunnil Suresh and K.C. Venugopal, the Youth Congress leaders Hibi Eden, P.C. Vishnunath, Anwar Sadath and Shafi Parambil, all MLAs, and Anto Antony, MP, accompanied Mr. Gandhi.
Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi; Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala; V.D. Satheesan, MLA; K.P. Dhanapalan, MP; and Congress leaders from the district welcomed Mr. Gandhi at the airport.