Rahul Gandhi has filed nomination from Kerala's Wayanad seat.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi has filed nomination to contest the national election from Kerala's Wayanad, which is his second seat in addition to Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. The Congress leader landed in Wayanad by a chopper this morning, along with his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and led a roadshow to the election office. A massive crowd of Congress workers and supporters carrying party flags greeted the brother-sister duo as they started their roadshow to mark the beginning of Rahul Gandhi's Wayanad campaign. A marching band was also part of the procession.
Soon after filing his nomination, Rahul Gandhi declared that he would "not say a word against" the ruling Left. "There is a tussle between the Congress and the CPM, and that battle may continue in future, but I am here to tell the people of Kerala that while I will defend all the allegations made by CPM about me, I will not be making a single attack on the CPM. You will not hear a word against the CPM from me," said Rahul Gandhi.
Mr Gandhi landed in Kozhikode, 73 km from Wayanad, on Wednesday night to a grand welcome by hundreds of Congress workers. Priyanka Gandhi, who joined the party in January as one of its general secretaries in charge of Uttar Pradesh, had reached shortly before her brother.
Mr Gandhi is contesting from Wayanad in addition to his traditional stronghold of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
Here are the Highlights on Rahul Gandhi's Kerala visit:
Rahul Gandhi, who has been criticised by Left for contesting from Kerala, has finally clarified his stand on the issue. The Congress leader said that his aim was to spread the message of unity, and for the same reason he will not "say a word" against them. "There is a tussle between the Congress and the CPM, and that battle may continue in future, but I am here to tell the people of Kerala that while I will defend all the allegations made by CPM about me, I will not say a word against the CPM," he said.
Earlier, Mr Gandhi filed nomination before district collector A R Ajayakumar. Heavy security was in place in and around the Collectorate ahead of the high profile visit of the Congress chief.
Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi are holding a roadshow in Wayanad. Senior Kerala Congress leader, including former chief minister Oommen Chandy and Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala, are accompanying the Congress president.
Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka begin roadshow in an open vehicle after filing of nomination by Cong President from Wayanad.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi files nomination in Kerala's Wayanad.
Rahul Gandhi, who is being accompanied by his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, was received at the airport by former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy and other leaders of the Congress-led alliance in the state. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi spent the night at a guest house in Kozhikode.
Large number of Congress workers have turned up in Wayanad for Rahul Gandhi's roadshow. Congress ally Indian Union Muslim League workers are also present for the event.
Wayanad votes in third phase, on April 23
Congress President Rahul Gandhi has reached Wayanad. He is accompanied by his sister and AICC in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
Poster welcoming Rahul Gandhi to Kerala
Rahul Gandhi had recently explained the reason behind his decision to contest from Wayanad. "South India feels hostility from Narendra Modi; I wanted to send message, that I am standing with you," he said.
The BJP has targeted Rahul Gandhi over his decision to contest from Kerala. Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that the Congress leader was afraid of being punished at his home constituency Amethi in Uttar Pradesh for the "Hindu terror" narrative.
Rahul Gandhi has been representing Amethi since 2004, but his winning margin has hugely shrunk in 2014. In the 2017 assembly elections, the Congress lost four of the five assembly segments that fall under the Lok Sabha seat.
This is the first time Rahul Gandhi is contesting from a second seat
Rahul Gandhi's mother, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, had trounced Sushma Swaraj in Karnataka's Bellary in 1999. Amethi was the other seat she contested. His grandmother Indira Gandhi had contested from Raebareli and Medak - currently in Telangana -- in 1980.
Rahul Gandhi will file his nomination from Wayanad today. The Congress leader has selected Wayanad as his second seat in addition to his traditional seat of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.