Congress president Rahul Gandhi began his three-day visit to Wayanad, the constituency he was able to win in Kerala. This is his first trip to the town since the Lok Sabha election results came out on 23 May.
Rahul Gandhi on his arrival in the town could be seen making his way through the roads of Wayanad in an open truck that was covered with a canopy due to pre-monsoon showers.
Supporters gathered despite the rain showers, with placards saying, “We are with you, Rahul” and “IYC (Indian Youth Congress) need you to lead us”.
“My door is open to every single citizen of Wayanad. As I am MP from Kerala, it is my responsibilty to raise not only issues of Wayanad people, but also the people of Kerala in the Lok Sabha. Getting to know you better and understanding your issued and working with you to improve your lives,” news agency ANI quoted the Congress chief.
“I will be in Wayanad, Kerala starting this afternoon and till Sunday to meet citizens and Congress Party workers. It’s a packed schedule with over 15 public receptions planned over the next three days”, Rahul had tweeted earlier.
The Congress chief, after reaching Malappuram, stopped by a tea shop for a break.
— Gandhi-Nehru Legacy (@Gandhi_Nehru) June 7, 2019
The visit is spread over three districts in northern Kerala, parts of which form the parliamentary constituency of Wayanad. Over the weekend, he will visit make several quick stops in Malappuram, followed by Wayanad and Kozhikode districts.
With the overall poor performance of the party in other states, Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Kerala was a rare sight of celebration for the Congress chief. Out of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala, the Congress won 19.
Soon after the results were declared last month, Rahul Gandhi had expressed his gratitude to the people of Wayanad for electing him.
Last Friday, in his first act as lawmaker from Wayanad, he wrote to the state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asking for an inquiry into a farmer suicide. The Congress chief said the death was “not isolated” and that Wayanad had seen many farmer suicides over unpaid loans. CM Vijayan promptly responded and urged him to raise the subject in parliament.
Congress was decimated in most parts of the country in the recent Lok Sabha elections. Rahul Gandhi contested from a second constituency for the first time in the seven-phase national election. He lost his family bastion Amethi in Uttar Pradesh to the BJP’s Smriti Irani. However, Gandhi managed to win from Wayanad by a huge margin, of over 4.31 lakh votes, beating his nearest rival from the Left.
Since his defeat, which sums up the Congress’s collapse in the election, Rahul Gandhi has told his party that he will not continue as party president. Whether Rahul Gandhi would step down or not is a matter still not clear and is rife with speculations.