Thiruvananthapuram: Congress president-to-be Rahul Gandhi will address a rally at the Central Stadium here on December 14, marking the culmination of Padayorukkam, the statewide roadshow led by the Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala disrupted by Cyclone Ockhi. Mr Chennithala said unlike the LDF and BJP yatras, the UDF campaign received tremendous support and participation, and collected Rs 13. 60 lakh from 136 Assembly constituencies covered so far. He expects remaining Nemom, Kazhakkoottam, Vattiyoorkavu and Thiruvananthapuram Central to donate when Mr Gandhi arrives.
A UDF meeting held at his residence evaluated that only Thiruvambadi, Ottapalam, Irinjalakuda, Kuttanad and Palai evoked a meek response. At the start of the UDF meeting, JD (U) leaders K. P. Mohanan and Varughese George informed the leadership that they would not ditch them. A top UDF leader said chances of JD (U) president M. P. Veerendra Kumar and his son M. V. Shreyams Kumar leaving them could not be ruled out.
IUML leader P. K. Kunhalikutty informed the meeting that if the Congress leaders stick together leaving out group rivalries and egos, then the UDF would come back to power, others like RSP’s N. K. Premachandran and KC (J) chairman Johnny Nellore endorsed. Mr Kunhalikutty said chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s claim of prosecuting his predecessor Oommen Chandy on rape charges had boomeranged on him. “This baseless charges boosted Mr Chandy's image. Thursday’s UDF meeting which lasted for close to four hours evaluated Padayorukkam in detail,” a UDF leader told DC.