KOCHI: Wayanad and its bordering districts Kozhikode, Kannur and Malappuram will be under heavy surveillance as the Kerala Police have decided to put in place a comprehensive security scheme for Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who will be contesting the Lok Sabha election from the constituency, in addition to Amethi. Rahul will reach Wayanad on Wednesday and file his nomination the following day.
Top police officers will chalk out a security strategy plan considering the rising activities of the CPI (Maoist) in the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu-Kerala (KTK) tri-junction spanning the forest areas of Wayanad, Nilambur and Irritty.
State police chief Loknath Behera told Express the department would coordinate with the Special Protection Group (SPG) to devise a security plan during Rahul’s visit to Wayanad for the campaign. “We’ve finalised the security strategy and it’ll be confirmed after meeting with the SPG. There’ll be stringent security measures in Wayanad,” he said. Northern range police officers said restrictions would be imposed at all places where Rahul would be camping.
“Only those people approved by the SPG will be given access to designated security zones. We can’t allow any chinks considering the security crisis the district faced following back-to-back Maoist incidents including the encounter killing of Maoist leader CP Jaleel on March 7,” said a senior officer.
The officer said in addition to armed police personnel in uniform, a large number of them will be deployed in plain clothes across the district to keep track of the people’s activities.
The police will also recommend to the SPG to keep the route of Rahul’s convoy a secret to ensure foolproof security,” the officers said. The security scheme will be in place not only during Rahul’s visit, but also on the days of polling and counting.
“We’ve identified sensitive booths where special police commando teams will be deployed. In fact, all polling booths will be thoroughly guarded as there’s an intelligence input that the Left Wing Extremists (LWEs) will attempt sabotage on the polling day to garner national attention,” said a senior intelligence officer. “Maoists have already made a call to the general public to boycott election. They’ve pasted posters at Makkimala recently vowing to avenge the encounter killing of Jaleel,” the officers added.
Many bitter truths will have to be disclosed, says KPCC chief
KOZHIKODE: KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran indirectly stated that even a few Congress leaders had tried to prevent Rahul Gandhi’s candidature in Wayanad constituency. He told reporters here on Monday that several ugly truths will have to be disclosed if he talks about those who have tried to stop Rahul’s candidature. “It could be some bitter truths. But situations where we are forced to speak the truth could arise. In such cases, there will be no other choice but to say the truth,” he said. The KPCC president said CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and BJP president Amit Shah have responded alike to Rahul Gandhi contesting from Wayanad. Lashing out at Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, he said the CM is speaking gibberish on Rahul’s candidature in the constituency, he said.
Rahul cannot save Congress in Kerala: S Ramachandran Pillai
KASARGOD: The Congress in Kerala cannot ride piggyback on its president Rahul Gandhi and escape, said CPM leader and politburo member S Ramachandran Pillai. “The LDF will repeat its performance in 2004, when it won the highest number of Lok Sabha seats,” he said. “By fielding Rahul in Wayanad, the Congress has taken a stance that destroyed the secular collective formed nationally. Instead of bolstering the anti-BJP sentiments prevalent in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Rahul chose flee to Wayanad,” said Pillai. Having said that, he could contest from anywhere and the Left front was not bothered of his candidature from Wayanad, he said. Pillai alleged the activities of the Congress and Rahul were akin to the extreme Hindutva stance of the BJP.