Update — Congress president Rahul Gandhi filed his nomination papers for contesting from the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency.
KOZHIKODE—Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is contesting from Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in Kerala in addition to his traditional stronghold of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, will file his nomination around 11:30 am on Thursday, senior party leader Ramesh Chennithala said.
Senior Congress leader and AICC general secretary in charge of Kerala, Mukul Wasnik said Gandhi’s sister and AICC in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra would accompany him to Wayanad.
Rahul Gandhi arrived in Kozhikode on Wednesday night to a tumultuous welcome by hundreds of party workers.
Priyanka, who came separately, reached shortly before her brother arrived.
A large number of young party workers holding Congress and ally Indian Union Muslim League flags were seen lustily cheering as Rahul Gandhi came out of the airport. He waved at them.
The Congress chief was received by Chennithala, Oommen Chandy, Mullappally Ramachandran, IUML leaders P K Kunhalikutty and E T Muhammed basheer and others.
Later he and Priyanka left for the guest house through a secure route from airport.
“Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka have already left for the guest house. Rahul might meet the senior leaders tonight. UDF workers are excited over his candidature,” Chennithala said.
Chandy said Rahul’s candidature in Wayanad will lead the UDF to a complete victory in the April 23 polls.
Rahul, who earlier in the day addressed a series of election meetings in Assam and Nagaland, reached Karipur Airport here around 9.30 PM.
After overnight stay at the guest house here, the two leaders will leave for Wayanad Thursday morning.
“The Congress chief will embark on a massive road show at around 9.30 AM before filing the nomination papers,” Chennithala said.
Wasnik claimed the announcement of Gandhi’s candidature in Wayanad has enthused the people of the constituency and made a major difference in other states, including Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
“It will get reflected in the voting,” he said.
Earlier, sources said the Congress chief would board a helicopter to Wayanad, about 90 km from here, to file his nomination.
Tight security is in place in Kozhikode and Wayanad districts in view of the high-profile visits.
The Congress announced on Sunday that Gandhi would contest from Wayanad constituency, besides his traditional stronghold of Amethi.
Gandhi has claimed that the people in South India “feel hostility” from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said he decided to contest from Wayanad to send out the message that he stands with them.