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Party flags conspicuously absent at Rahul Gandhi's roadshow in Wayanad

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NewsDrum Desk
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Wayanad (Kerala), Apr 3 (PTI) Rahul Gandhi's roadshow here on Wednesday was visibly different from that of 2019 in the constituency when the green flags of ally IUML outnumbered the Congress's in the crowd. This time, the flags were conspicuous by their absence -- even those of the sitting MP's party. The roadshow held in Kalpetta in Wayanad was attended by all major UDF partners, including key ally Indian Union Muslim League. UDF workers mostly displayed placards of Gandhi's image and his election symbol -- the hand -- to add colour to the campaign.

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Party workers also carried balloons in various colours instead of flags.

At the height of the election campaign in 2019, senior BJP leader Amit Shah had criticised Gandhi for contesting from the constituency in Kerala, and remarked that during a procession in the area, it was difficult to discern whether it was India or Pakistan, alluding to the presence of IUML's green flags during the Congress leader's roadshow, a Congress source said.

The source said that the Congress might have chosen not to display flags during the event this time, out of concern for such potential negative reactions from the BJP.

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There is a concern that if the flags were displayed, the BJP could use it as an opportunity to spread propaganda against Rahul Gandhi, possibly trying to portray his campaign in a divisive or communal light, the source added.

"The party may want to be cautious in such matters, as the BJP will utilise even the minutest of things to attack the Congress, especially considering Gandhi's role as the main campaigner of the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls," he further explained.

Meanwhile, the CPI(M) on Wednesday took a dig at the Congress for not displaying its alliance partner Muslim League's green flags at the Gandhi roadshow, alleging that such a step was taken considering its repercussions in North India.

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"If flags were displayed, the League's flags would have overshadowed the Congress flags. What would have been the scene in North India if the Congress flag and the Muslim League flag had been displayed? So, they decided not to carry flags—either of Congress or of the League—during the roadshow," CPI(M) State Secretary M V Govindan commented.

Hitting back at the CPI(M) leader, Congress MLA T Siddique said such remarks revealed "the dirty politics" of that party.

"It is not the flags, but the symbol that is important. They don't have any other subjects; that's why they are discussing dirty politics. Since there are so many parties in the UDF and Rahul Gandhi is our candidate, and the hand is our symbol, we decided on one candidate, one symbol (for the roadshow)," Siddique told a news channel. PTI TGB TGB ANE

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