KOCHI: Not only the Congress, but the other constituents of the UDF too could reinvigorate its cadre with Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, which has been touring the state for the past 9 days, according to leaders. While the yatra is all set to enter the Congress’ stronghold of Ernakulam district on Tuesday, it has infused confidence among UDF allies after seeing the huge turnout of people in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Alappuzha districts so far. It seems the efforts of the Congress leaders to strengthen the front too through the 19-day-long yatra in the state evoked a good response as many leaders of the UDF constituents joined it and Rahul held talks with their leaders on the sidelines.
According to the leaders, Bharat Jodo Yatra could benefit not only the Congress but also the UDF in preparing for the next Lok Sabha elections. During the yatra in Ernakulam, Rahul will meet leaders of two Kerala Congress factions — Joseph and Jacob — on Thursday. “Definitely, Rahul’s yatra has boosted the confidence of UDF constituents.
The Congress is giving adequate consideration to even small allies. Rahul is also lending his ear to the leaders of all constituents. It’s a good initiative to hold all allies under the umbrella of UDF by giving them adequate representation,” said Kerala Congress (Jacob) general secretary Premson Manjamattam, adding that MLA Anoop Jacob and other party leaders will meet Rahul Gandhi on Thursday. Kerala Congress (Joseph faction) district president Shibu Thekkumpuram said party workers will extend their support to the yatra when it reaches Edappally on Wednesday.
The Congress is taking out the yatra at a time CPM-led LDF is leaving no stone unturned to keep the Christian and Muslim minorities, who were once considered the vote bank of UDF, in its fold and BJP is trying to expand its base by wean away Christian community with the backing of the Union government.
“Hence, it is now important for the Congress to ensure continued support of the communities and sections which distanced themselves away from the front owing to several reasons at different times,” said a top UDF leader. Earlier, CMP leaders under its general secretary C P John joined the yatra at Attingal in Thiruvananthapuram while RSP leaders N K Premachandran and Shibu Baby John joined it in Kollam. Rahul will meet Muslim League leaders when the yatra arrives in the League’s stronghold.