Wayanad: Congress President Rahul Gandhi has an emotional link with Kerala's Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency from where he is contesting polls besides his family bastion Amethi, party leaders said here Thursday.
An urn containing the ashes of his father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was brought here in 1991 and they were immersed in Papanasini, a stream connected to a famous temple dedicated to Lord Mahavishnu in picturesque Thirunelli village, Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala recalled.
"The then chief minister K Karunakaran, myself, Mullappally Ramachandran and K C Venugopal had attended the ritual of immersing the ashes of Rajiv-ji in Papanasini," Chennithala told PTI here.
Rajiv Gandhi was killed in a suicide bomb blast at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991 during an election campaign.
The Congress leaders indicated that Rahul Gandhi is likely to offer prayers at the holy place when he visits the constituency for campaigning next time.
Papanasini means destroyer of sins. According to Thirunelli temple officials, if the ashes of the dead are immersed in Papanasini, it is equivalent to doing the rituals in Gaya.
Surrounded by the Kambamala, Karimala and the Varadiga peaks, the Thirunelli temple near Mananthavady embodies traditional Kerala architecture, the Kerala Tourism department said in its website.
The shrine, situated among scenic mountains and forests, is shielded with 30 granite columns and the ground is paved with huge square pieces of granite.
Gandhi on Thursday filed his nomination from Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency.
Rahul, accompanied by his sister Priyanka Gandhi and senior Congress leaders including K C Venugopal and Mukul Wasnik, submitted the papers before district collector A R Ajayakumar at the district headquarters here.