Congress has all chances to return to power
Apart from the public enthusiasm at Congress president Rahul Gandhi's rallies in different parts of Kerala, he managed to send out the right message...
Apart from the public enthusiasm at Congress president Rahul Gandhi's rallies in different parts of Kerala, he managed to send out the right message at all his events.
His speeches struck a chord as he spoke about local issues as well as provided a national perspective to the Congress' priorities in this election. It was the total package, the impact of which will reverberate throughout south India, a crucial battlefield for both the Congress and BJP in determining who is going to make it in 2019.
The Congress expects this Rahul effect to be felt not just in Kerala and the neighbouring Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, but the entire south India.
The decision to pick Wayanad as the second constituency itself had a larger message for the South as the picturesque hill station lies in the tri-junction of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Congress strategists have argued that a Gandhi family member pitching to enter Lok Sabha from the South can maximise the party's gains in the other key States of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The strategy is also seen to be in line with the projection of Rahul as the Prime Ministerial candidate by the DMK — the Congress ally in Tamil Nadu.
There is another positive angle too. When grandmother Indira Gandhi contested from Medak in the then Andhra Pradesh and Chikamagalur in Karnataka and Sonia Gandhi from Bellary, they did so in the search for a safe seat.
But Rahul is not facing any such predicament. In fact, the party has its best chance of returning to power this time.
L Aravinda, Hyderabad