In what can be termed as a huge embarrassment, Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi was denied space to host a public programme in the vicinity of a church in Kerala on Tuesday. The former Congress chief was left red-faced after worshippers opposed Rahul Gandhi's programme at the Mannarkad Jacobite Syrian church ground. The said church had taken Rs 10,000 as the advance amount from the Congress but refused to allow the function to carry on after believers objected to the programme to be hosted in the church premises. As per sources, the party function was then shifted to private property.
Congress promises are not only right for state economies but also for people’s rights- better wages & employment by building trust & harmony.: Shri @RahulGandhi #JananayakanRahulGandhi pic.twitter.com/JwPLA338Fv— Congress (@INCIndia) March 23, 2021
An air of confusion also looms over Congress after Rahul Gandhi reportedly expressed his desire to see a woman CM in Kerala. As per sources, Rahul Gandhi expressed the desire for a woman to become Kerala's Chief Minister but said that he knew it wouldn't happen soon. Rahul Gandhi's remarks reportedly left Congress workers in shock as they were expecting Ramesh Chennithala or Oommen Chandy to be named CM, as per sources.
"Next time, I want to see more women in our candidacy. My next job is to make that happen. Also, in due course of time my dream is to give Kerala a woman chief minister", said Gandhi who represents Kerala's Wayanad seat in Lok Sabha.
Meanwhile, Congress' block general secretary from Konni joined CPI(M) two weeks ahead of the assembly polls in Kerala. Advocate Alexander Mathew announced his resignation from the party after a rebel candidate who stood against the grand-old-party in the Lok Sabha by-polls was given a ticket. The former Congress block general secretary revealed that he was hurt as a Congressman and that many workers would be quitting the party in the future, thereby echoing other Congress leaders including PC Chacko and Vijayan Thomas who deserted the party.
In its manifesto for the April 6 Assembly polls, the Congress-led UDF has promised a Rs 2,000 'pension' for homemakers, Rs 72,000 annually to the poor under 'Nyay Yojana' and five lakh homes for the underprivileged. Winding up his two-day Kerala election campaign, Gandhi said, "The mood in Kerala is clear. People want change and we will deliver." He said the Congress-led UDF was committed to Kerala's safety, security and all-round growth. "We will ensure the state is redirected to the path of development", Gandhi said.
In Kerala, the Congress-led UDF is the main contender to the Left-led LDF. Kicking off its 'Aishwarya Kerala Yatra', Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala has vowed to bring legislation to protect the rights of the Ayyappa devotees when the UDF is voted to power. Rahul Gandhi has also visited the state multiple times, campaigning for UDF. Congress has repeatedly called for CM Pinarayi Vijayan's resignation over a host of issues - Gold smuggling probe, Sandalwood probe, COVID handling, Sabarimala issue, Sprinklr row, Police social media order etc. Elections will take place in a single-phase in Kerala, with the polling of votes on April 6 followed by counting and declaration of results on May 2.