Rahul Gandhi,
Rahul Gandhi claimed atrocities against dalits and tribals are increasing under BJP rule I File Photo

Rahul Gandhi disqualified, but life goes on in Wayanad

People in Wayanad in Kerala are outraged that the Rahul Gandhi they elected to the Lok Sabha with a thumping majority has been disqualified. But they get on with their lives, knowing that the battle is being fought elsewhere.

Indeed, if you stop people on the street in any part of Wayanad and ask what they think of the disqualification, more often than not they express outrage.

This sentiment was also expressed by Sreeja, a municipal councillor for the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), a Congress ally. Sreeja expressed confidence that Rahul Gandhi’s conviction would be dismissed in the higher courts and that he would win the next election from Wayanad with an even bigger margin.

Also read: Rahul Gandhi disqualified: What next? | Capital Beat

“Most women in my colony and my ward really like Rahul Gandhi,” she added.

But she too talked about her more pressing worry – the impending water shortage, an annual summer occurrence in her colony.

Religious observances

Also, at the other end of the district, at Mananthavady, is Wayanad’s most famous all-night festival organised by Valliyoorkkavu temple, an annual 14-day event. There is also the Ramadan fasting.

A PTI reporter met Matthew, 99 years old, who showed stacked kerosene-soaked cloth bound around bamboo sticks, to be used as torches, at the district Congress committee office at Kalpetta in Wayanad. The Congress and its youth wing have been organising protests since Rahul’s disqualification from the Lok Sabha.

Matthew is a Congress sympathiser who narrated with glee how he threw stones at a police station long ago during one protest.

At the Congress office too, life goes on.

Also read: SC plea questions law that disqualified Rahul Gandhi as MP after conviction

Before heading to the protest on Sunday (March 26), the members were treated to an iftaar. In fact, district panchayat president Samshad Marakkar had earlier cited the ongoing Ramadan fasting as one of the reasons why things were low-key in Wayanad.

Congress protest

Right after his release on Saturday (March 25) – he was arrested for blocking the national highway – Kalpetta MLA T Siddique was seen at a mosque offering Ramadan namaz.

On Sunday night (March 26), nearly 400 Congress workers marched through Kalpetta town holding burning torches.

(With agency inputs)

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