Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest elections from Wayanad in Kerala has made the headlines. However, the Nehru family’s connection with south India much older than that. Forty years before Rahul Gandhi’s entry to south India’s electoral politics, his grandmother Indira Gandhi had came to hill town of Chikkamagaluru in Karnataka.Indira Gandhi, who was in the wilderness after the Emergency was lifted, was invited to Karnataka by leaders here, who promised her a political resurrection. Rahul Kicks Off Kerala Campaign, To Visit Wayanad TomorrowSageer Ahmed, a three times MLA from Chikkamagaluru was one of the old guard of politicians, who had witnessed Indira Gandhi’s election campaign in 1978, closely. “After the Allahabad HC disqualified her, our leader Devaraj Urs called a meeting and asked whether the party should ask Indiraji to contest from Karnataka. Once everyone agreed he went to Delhi and convinced her to come to Karnataka,” recollected Ahmed.According to him, villagers used to line up near by the roads to get a glimpse of her. “In many places she just said hello to people with folded hand and didn’t make any speeches. But the curiosity itself converted into votes,” he said.It’s Rahul Gandhi Vs Rahul Gandhi Vs Raghul Gandhi in Wayanad Sevety-six-year-old AR Shareef is still famous in Chikkamagaluru, as the man who took Indira Gandhi in an autorickshaw and he is more than happy to tell the story. “One morning, FM Khan sir called me in the morning and asked if I had a good condition autorickshaw. I took one to the Inspection Bungalow and I was told I will be taking Indira Gandhi in an autorickshaw around the district fields,” he said.When she saw the vehicle, for a time she was reluctant but soon got the hang of standing in an open autorickshaw, he remembered. But for Atheeq Kaisar, who was part of the youth Congress then, the highlight of the campaign was seeing Rajeev Gandhi. “He was wearing jeans and white shirt, which was tucked in. He wore Ray-Ban glasses. We realised it was Rajeev Gandhi when he got the first glimpse itself. It was great,” recollected Kaisar.Even though it’s been 41 years since Indira Gandhi was elected from Chikkamagaluru, through these men the memory remains alive. Chikkamagaluru in Kannada means the land of the little daughter and in 1978, this hill town considered Indira their little daughter. But decades later, the BJP has become strong in this once Congress bastion. Since 1998, the BJP has won from Chikkamagaluru five times.So, in the 2019 General Election the Congress is hoping for a political resurrection here, just like Indira Gandhi did in 1978. We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.