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Rahul Gandhi holds roadshow in Kerala's Wayanad; attacks BJP, RSS

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Wayanad(Kerala), Apr 3 (PTI) Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday kicked off his election campaign for the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat by filing his nomination papers, holding a massive roadshow and attacking the BJP and the RSS by accusing them of 'trying to destroy' the Constitution and democratic nature of India.

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Rahul, who arrived in this hill district of Kerala by helicopter from Kannur in the morning, held a roadshow from Kalpetta new bus stand to Civil Station here where he addressed a massive crowd which included party workers and supporters.

The Congress MP from Wayanad, accompanied by his sister Priyanka Gandhi and other senior party leaders including AICC general secretary K C Venugopal, later submitted his nomination papers to the Wayanad District Collector who is also the Returning Officer.

Speaking to reporters after filing his nomination, Rahul said that the Lok Sabha poll was a fight for democracy and the Constitution of India.

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"On one side are the forces who want to destroy the democracy and the Constitution of this country and on the other side, there is a force that is protecting the Constitution and democratic nature of our country,” he said.

He alleged that it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and others in the BJP who were attempting to destroy the Constitution and the democracy in the country.

It is the Congress and the INDIA bloc which are trying to stop that from happening, he contended.

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Prior to filing nomination, while addressing the massive number of people who came to greet him, Rahul said that he is always with the people of Wayanad on all issues, including the human-animal conflict which has claimed many lives in this district.

He also said that he was always ready to bring the issues being faced by the people of the hill constituency to the attention of the nation and the world.

Rahul further said that Wayanad, with its beautiful history and traditions is his "guiding light".

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"I am deeply grateful to the people of Wayanad for their unwavering support. As we step into a new era of 'Nyay', I want to reaffirm my dedication to serving each and every one of you to the best of my abilities," he said.

Rahul, in his speech, said that when he first came here he was impressed by the people of Wayanad as they showered him with love irrespective of their political affiliations, differences in community, etc.

He said that he came to the hill district after it had suffered huge loss of life and property after the floods, but the people were not angry or blaming anyone else, and they never uttered any words that would degrade their self-respect or dignity.

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"They never let their sorrow and fear turn into anger towards anyone. They showed me their brilliance," said Rahul who won from Wayanad in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls with a massive margin of over four lakh votes.

The Congress MP further said that he treats and thinks of the people as his own family, similar to his sister Priyanka, and not as an electorate.

He said he was aware that the people of Wayanad were facing a lot of problems, which included rising instances of human-animal conflicts, night travel issues and lack of a good medical college.

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He said that he was with the people of Wayanad in their fight on these issues.

Rahul said that he has pressured the Centre and the Kerala government to take steps on these issues, but nothing has moved forward till now.

He assured the people that "when we come to power at the Centre and the state, both of which we will do, then we will resolve all these issues".

He further said that he has a good relationship with the people of Wayanad whether they are from the UDF or LDF and that he was honoured to be an MP from here.

Rahul said that he has learnt a lot from the people of Wayanad through his interactions with them and thanked them for making the last five years a memorable experience for him.

He said that he was committed to resolving the issues being faced by the people of Wayanad.

Later, in a post on social media platform X, Rahul said that Wayanad is his home, and the people there are his family.

"From them, I have learned a great deal over the last five years and received an abundance of love and affection. It is with great pride and humility that I file my nomination for Lok Sabha 2024 once again from this beautiful land. This election is a fight for the soul of India.

"..it is a fight to preserve our democracy from the forces of hatred, corruption, and injustice that seek to suppress the voice of Bharat Mata. I, along with every member of INDIA, will not rest until this battle is won. We will bring together every citizen from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and from Manipur to Mumbai to strengthen our Union of States," he said in his post.

Thousands of people, including UDF leaders and workers, turned up at Kalpetta here to welcome Rahul who arrived here to file his nomination papers for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

People belonging to all age groups came to see him and carried party flags and placards with the Congress MP's photograph and balloons in the party colours to welcome him.

Standing atop an open truck, Rahul was flanked by Priyanka and senior leaders from Congress and party-led UDF from Kerala as the roadshow moved towards the Civil Station locality.

From his vehicle, the Congress MP waved to the thousands who thronged both sides of the road and shouted 'jai jai Rahul Gandhi' and 'down down Narendra Modi'.

Hundreds of party workers and supporters walked in front, alongside and at the rear of the vehicle Rahul will be contesting against BJP state president K Surendran and CPI leader Annie Raja from the Wayanad LS constituency. PTI HMP HMP ROH

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