Leaders of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in Wayanad are disappointed over the exclusion of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s constituency from the route of Bharat Jodo Yatra in Kerala.
With just two more years to go for the general election, several Congress leaders and activists in the district said they had expected Mr. Gandhi to lead the rally through his constituency where he won with a record margin of 431,770 votes in the 2019 elections.
Moreover, they hope that Mr. Gandhi will contest again from the constituency in 2024. “If the rally passes through major towns in the constituency, it will be a morale booster to party workers, especially those at the bottom level,” a senior leader of the party said.
However, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) working president T. Siddique, MLA, said the 3,570-km march on foot had nothing to do with the forthcoming Lok Sabha election. “The rally is against the new political system in the country, and it tries to reveal the hollowness of the system among the public. As part of it, Mr. Gandhi is interacting with people from all walks of life irrespective of their political ideologies,” he said.
“Mr. Gandhi represents the Wayanad constituency and not Wayanad district. Moreover, the rally in the State is scheduled to end at Nilambur in Malappuram district, a segment of the Wayanad constituency,” Mr. Siddique said.
“We wished Mr. Gandhi would lead the rally through Wayanad district,” said Wayanad district congress committee (DCC) president N.D. Appachan. “But we know it is a national-level programme, and the route has been charted by the All India Congress Committee to give representation to all States,” he added.
“When the rally reaches its final leg in the State at Nilambur on August 28, before it enters Gudalur in Tamil Nadu, around 5,000 select party workers from the district will join it,” Mr. Appachan said, adding that they would accompany Mr. Gandhi for around 12 km from Naduvath to Chandamukku.
The DCC will organise a solidarity march to the Yatra in the district on September 22, 23, and 24, he said.