Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi will arrive in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday to kick off the party's campaign in the coming Lok Sabha poll, by taking part in the public meeting to conclude the state-wide march of Ramesh Chennithala, head of the Kerala unit of the Congress.
Speaking to IANS, Chennithala said Rahul Gandhi's visit "has come as a shot in the arm for us".
“When we decided to invite him, we had no idea that the elections would be announced and now it has come as a blessing. In fact we are lucky that it will be Rahul Gandhi who will launch the election campaign for us in the state,” Chennithala said on Wednesday on phone from Tathanamthitta.
This will be Rahul Gandhi's first visit to the state for party work. A few years ago he had been to the state's scenic backwaters in Kumarakom for a holiday.
The public meeting will be held at the state capital's Shangumukam beach, a stone's throw from the airport in Thiruvananthapuram.
"He (Rahul Gandhi) will arrive in the evening and will leave after the public meeting," added Chennithala.
In Kerala, the Congress party which leads the state's opposition United Democratic Front appears to have made an early start in the parliamentary poll campaign. The party has concluded seat sharing talks with its allies and has said it will follow the same pattern as in the past. Congress will contest 17 seats, the Indian Union Muslim League will contest two and the Kerala Congress one.
The Congress expects to finalise its candidates later this week and will send its recommendations to the Congress High Command which will make the final decision.