Congress Leader Chennithala Begins Pre-Poll Aishwarya Kerala Yatra

Congress leader of Kerala Ramesh Chennithala started his pre-poll state tour on 1 February.

1 min read
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala.

Kerala’s leader of Opposition, Indian National Congress’ Ramesh Chennithala kicked off his pre-poll ‘Aishwarya Kerala Yatra’ from Kasaragod. Thousands of supporters have rallied behind Chennithala.

Legislative Assembly election in the state is expected to be held in April-May 2021.

Chennithala has accused the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) of embroiling itself in scams. However, all the economic irregularities that Chennithala has listed are still under probe by various investigation agencies, including the National Investigation Agency.

The Congress leader also met with those affected by Endosulfan poisoning in Kasaragod. The rally is expected to whip up votes in favour of United Democratic Front (UDF).

In Kerala, where popular mandate swings against the incumbent government each Legislative Assembly election, the pressure is on the Congress-led UDF to win against LDF.

While the LDF government has faced several natural disasters including the two floods in 2018 and 2019, Nipah virus outbreak in 2018 and COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, its popular support does not seem to have shrunk as much as the UDF would have expected. Chennithala’s Kerala rally is hence crucial in the state’s political front.

Kerala government’s decision to follow the Supreme Court order which allowed women’s entry into Sabarimala temple, however, did strengthen the support for UDF which bagged 19 out of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in 2019 election.

The first day of Chennithala’s 23-day-long yatra was spent mostly on meeting constituents who are aggrieved with the LDF government, including families of Sarath Lal and Kripesh, two Youth Congress workers who were allegedly killed by a CPI(M) leader.

In the coming days, Chennithala is expected to tour Kannur and Kozhikode districts.

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