Kasargode (Kerala): The Congress in Kerala on Monday became the first party to launch its series of political yatras that will pass through all 140 assembly constituencies in the state ahead of the 2016 polls.
The first Congress rally led by state party president V.M. Sudheeran was flagged off from this northern district of the state on Monday evening.
Other parties are also gearing up for state-wide rallies to be flagged off later this month in preparation for the April-May assembly polls.
CPI-M politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan, state BJP president Kummenem Rajasekheran, Indian Union Muslim League leader and state Industry Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty and CPI state secretary Kannam Rajendran will be leading rallies of their respective parties.
“When this rally reaches the state capital on February 9, it would be addressed by party vice president Rahul Gandhi and on that day, our party will kick-start the election campaign officially,” state Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala told party supporters before Sudheeran launched his rally.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy handed over the party flag to Sudheeran and said the rally comes at a time when India is “passing through tough times”.
Chandy said that when the Congress lost the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, many people were happy, but after 19 months of the Narendra Modi government, people were not happy any more.
“This rally comes at a time when the Congress is making a strong comeback. The incident in Pathankot is a shame to our country and the growing intolerance that is seen in the country is all because of the failure of the Modi government.
He slammed the Left Front opposition, saying it was “playing a dangerous game” in the state.
“This rally is meant to rejuvenate the party workers and to tell the people of Kerala that the present government’s agenda of ‘development and care’ has to continue,” said Chandy.
Rallies of the other parties will also pass through all 140 assembly constituencies and end in the state capital.