KARIPUR/KOZHIKODE: The enthusiasm of hundreds of UDF workers who waited outside the Karipur International Airport reached a crescendo when they got a glimpse of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who acknowledged their loud cheers.
Rahul reached the city en route to Kalpetta, where he will file nomination for the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency on Thursday.
The SPG and Police had put the airport under tight security cover, and only top leaders were allowed to receive Rahul and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who reached in separate flights. Rahul came to the domestic arrival lounge and waved at the waiting party workers as ‘Rahul ji kee jai’ and ‘Congress kee jai’ slogans went up in the air.
KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran, AICC general secretaries KC Venugopal and Mukul Wasnik (Kerala in-charge), and IUML national general secretary PK Kunhalikutty were among those who welcomed the duo. Rahul later held informal talks with the leaders at the VIP lounge. “The UDF workers and leaders are upbeat. Rahul’s candidature in Wayanad will create ripples in entire South India,” said Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala, who was present at the airport.
The police said Rahul and Priyanka will stay at the Kozhikode Government Guest House and Taj Hotel/Kadavu Resort respectively.Tight security is in place in Kozhikode and Wayanad districts in view of the high-profile visit. The border check-posts too are under the heavy surveillance of the SPG. The group also reviewed the security arrangements at the SKMJ High School ground, Kalpetta, where Rahul is likely to touch down on reaching the venue in a chopper.
The KPCC leaders said Rahul will file his poll papers at 11.30 am after a roadshow in Kalpetta. The leaders held a discussion at the DCC Office, Wayanad, on the plans to make the occasion a grand success. “Rahul will file his nomination after a road show which will commence at 9.30 am from Kalpetta and end in Collectorate,” said Chennithala. Party leaders said the AICC chief’s programmes will be finalised only after getting SPG’s permission. The dates for the next round of visit and mode of campaign will be decided later.