Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who just returned from a four-day visit to the United Kingdom and Germany, on Tuesday arrived in Kerala to take a stock of the flood-ravaged state. The Gandhi scion is on a two-day visit to the flood-affected areas of Kerala, including Chengannur, Alappuzha and Angamaly on August 28 and 29.
According to reports, the Congress chief reached Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala around 10 am and will leave for Kochi later in the day. During the first day of his visit, Gandhi will also conduct a survey of Aluva, Paravur and Chalakkudy areas.
On day 2, Gandhi is set to pay a visit to Wayanad district and will reach Kozhikode airport by 1.15 pm to leave for Delhi.
Here are the highlights on Rahul Gandhi's Kerala visit:
# 02:54 pm: Rahul Gandhi felicitates KB Jaison from Malappuram. Mr Jaison was seen helping people board a rescue boat.
# 02:50 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi felicitates Rev Bishop Stephan Athipozi and V Dinakaran, three fishermen who were involved in Kerala rescue operation.
# 02:40 pm: The Congress chief addresses the gathering at the felicitation function at Alappuzha, Kerala.
# 02:30 pm: The Kerala Floods reveal two distinct ideas of India. The first is one of love and compassion for all living beings, particularly in their suffering. The second is driven by hate and bigotry that is unrelenting even in the face of suffering, tweeted Rahul Gandhi.
# 02:19 pm: Gandhi attended the felicitation of fishermen involved with rescue operations at Camelot Convention Centre, Alappuzha which started with a moment of silence for the people who lost their lives in the Kerala floods.
Congress President @RahulGandhi attended the felicitation of fishermen involved with rescue operations at Camelot Convention Centre, Alappuzha which started with a moment of silence for the people who lost their lives in the Kerala floods. pic.twitter.com/CMDbEQJynE— Congress (@INCIndia) August 28, 2018
# 01:45 pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi made way for an air ambulance to take off in Kerala's Chengannur, today.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi made way for an air ambulance to take off in Kerala's Chengannur, today. He is on a two-day tour to the flood affected areas in Kerala. pic.twitter.com/I3j1RBGwBx— ANI (@ANI) August 28, 2018
# 01:15 pm: Rahul Gandhi visits the flood-affected Ezhikkadu colony in Aranmula, Pathanamthitta, Kerala.
# 11:37 am: The Gandhi scion meets the flood-affected at the Relief Camp at the Engineering College in Chengannur, Kerala.
# 10:55 am: Rahul Gandhi interacted with flood victims at Christian College in Kerala.
# 10:47 am: Congress President Rahul Gandhi visits a relief camp in Chengannur. He is on a 2-day visit to the flood-hit Kerala.
# 10:27 am: Congress President Rahul Gandhi arrives at Trivandrum airport.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi arrives at Trivandrum airport. He will be visiting flood-hit regions in the state including Chengannur, Alappuzha and Angamaly later today. He will also visit flood-affected areas in Wayanad district tomorrow. #KeralaFloods pic.twitter.com/WlhKWbcuzF— ANI (@ANI) August 28, 2018
In early August, Rahul posted a series of tweets and requested the Centre to extend their support for the flood-hit Kerala. He also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the flood a national disaster.
Expressing his solidarity with the people in Kerala, Gandhi said, "This is a difficult time for the people of Kerala. In relief camps and homes across the state, people are grieving for their loved ones. On this Onam let us pledge to put aside our differences, stand united together and focus on the task of #RebuildingKerala".
"Please declare Kerala floods a national disaster without any delay. The lives, livelihood and future of millions of our people are at stake. Please do not vacillate as the people of Kerala are suffering," he added.
As many as 357 people have lost their lives and several lakhs were shifted to over thousand relief camps after incessant rains flooded the coastal state this monsoon. The southern state of India has been facing the worst-ever flood in nearly 100 years, leading the Centre to declare it a “Level-3 calamity”.
The Kerala floods, which have caused a widespread devastation across the state, has faced an initial loss of Rs 20,000 crore with the possibility of a further spike.