Ahead of Assembly elections in Kerala, the state’s Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala will lead a rally from Kasargod on January 31. The event was originally planned for February 1, but the leadership has decided to start a day early. The ‘Aishwarya Kerala Yatra’ will take the UDF through 140 constituencies on a 23-day journey until its conclusion in Thiruvananthapuram on February 22. The decision follows Kerala’s Congress leadership’s meeting with the High Command and INC acting President Sonia Gandhi.
The ‘yatra’ will consist of political rallies, speeches, discussions at constituencies, and other interactions, marking UDF’s unofficial beginning of their election campaigning. Sonia had informed the state leadership to form a manifesto after properly understanding the needs of the people. Moreover, the event would also give the alliance a chance to bring together its various groups and leaders together to show the people a collective front.
Ramesh Chennithala would be leading the march, while other leaders would join along the way. While Oommen Chandy is in charge of a committee to oversee UDF election activities, he would only join the event midway. National leadership including Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi is likely to join the event at key points.
Following the discussion with the High Command, the party has decided not to announce a Chief Minister candidate now, and it will be made after the elections. However, many party members in the state have not taken Oommen Chandy’s appointment as the head of the committee very lightly. While reports are floating around, sources indicate that a clear picture would emerge after AICC General Secretary Ashok Gehlot, who would be coming to Kerala on January 23, presents his findings.
Meanwhile, KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran has shown interest in contesting the Assembly election, either from Kozhikode or Wayanad. However, sources have told us that all of this is currently under discussion, especially the constituencies where each contestant would make their stand. The rumours, however, has caused a chain reaction that has caused a small debate within the front. Firstly, reports of Mullappally contesting, that too from Kalpetta, has forced the Indian Union Muslim League to make a stand. They claimed that they have a better chance from the location and that they are not going to surrender the place.
Secondly, if Mullappally does contest, he might not be able to hold on to the KPCC president post, and that it might go to Kannur MP K Sudhakaran. This has forced the latter to address media persons and inform that he had no such intention and added that no one has opposed Mullappally contesting in the assembly elections.