The visit of Congress president Rahul Gandhi to Kozhikode in connection with the Janamaha rally on Thursday will sound the campaign bugle of the Congress party in the State for the April 23 election.
Though the party is yet to officially announce the list of candidates for the Lok Sabha poll, the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) feels that the rally, with participation from six north districts, will galvanise the rank and file of the party in Malabar.
‘‘Over one-lakh party workers will take part in the rally,’’ District Congress Committee president T. Siddique said.
Senior leaders, including Congress Working Committee member A.K. Antony, All India Congress Committee general secretaries Mukul Wasnik, Oommen Chandy and K.C. Venugopal, and Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala will address the rally.
Mr. Siddique said Mr. Gandhi would land at the Calicut airport at 3.30 p.m. from Kannur and reach the Kozhikode beach by road. Mr. Gandhi will reach Kochi on Wednesday evening. He will attend the Fisherworkers’ Parliament to be held at Thriprayar on Thursday morning.
He has plans to proceed to Wayanad and visit the house of jawan V.V. Vasanthakumar, who was among the 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel killed in a suicide terror attack at Pulwama last month. But the Special Protection Group (SPG), which is providing security to Mr. Gandhi, has expressed reservations about his visit to Wayanad in the wake of the reported threat posed by Left wing extremists.
Last week, suspected Maoist C.P. Jaleel was shot dead and another injured in an alleged encounter with Thunderbolt commandos of the Kerala Police at Lakkidi.
However, Mr. Gandhi will visit the houses of Kripesh and Sarath Lal, the two Youth Congress workers who were killed allegedly by Communist Party of India (Marxist) workers at Periye in Kasaragod.