Days after the Bharat Jodo Yatra's 19-day Kerala schedule came to an end, party members in the state say there is a new revival within the party. On September 11, the yatris led by Rahul Gandhi entered the state and covered seven districts. They were met by massive crowds throughout the journey across the state.

Members of the Kerala Pradesh Congress walked shoulder to shoulder and were seen putting on a united front. Rahul Gandhi interacted with local shop owners, women, children and even took part in the famous boat race at Alappuzha.

While there was some criticism initially over the Congress' decision to spend 19 days in a Left-ruled state and having slotted just two days in Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh, there is no denying the impact the Yatra had within the Congress party in Kerala.

According to M Vincent, a Congress MLA from Kerala, "it was a morale booster for the party to have a leader like Rahul Gandhi leading the yatra for 19 days. The party was united and rallied behind him throughout. Before that, there were a lot of organisational weaknesses in the party.

The yatra has helped overcome a lot of these challenges. Now up to the post of the district president, a reorganisation has taken place. Every single worker participated and worked for the yatra, It had an electrifying effect. Until then, the party was in a passive mood, but Rahul ji's presence in the yatra helped revamp the party and rejuvenate the workers.

"We also got the public's attention. That will definitely support us in our future endeavours and is giving us more confidence. The infighting within the party is not like what it was in the past, but even those little differences were not reflected at all during the yatra. The public are looking up to the party now. With this impression, we can move further."

Saji Joseph, co-ordinator for Bharat Jodo Yatra in Alappuzha and District Congress Committee Vice President said, "the yatra caused a big revival in the Kerala Congress. Every day for 19 days, there were about 30,000 to 50,000 people who walked. That was no small feat.

The booth committee is the most basic committee in the Kerala Congress. Even committees like that which were so passive suddenly became so active. Each panchayat has about 20 booths. Many of these booths were lying dormant for years. But in the yatra, there were about 30 ground workers who joined the yatra from each booth."

He added, "there were so many women and children, even elderly women who came to join the yatra and see Rahul Gandhi. There were people of all walks of life, students, daily wage labourers, farmers, rubber plantation workers, everyone came to speak out about their problems. Just the fact that there was someone to listen to their problems personally really gave them some hope. Usually in the Kerala Congress, whenever there is a programme, not all the members participate. But this time, every single party worker participated in some way or the other."

"Congress is not a Kerala party, and that comes with its own problems. There are not enough ground workers. But this yatra has increased the number of ground workers drastically, even in places where there was usually very less Congress presence," he said.

Responding to claims that the yatra has helped change the perception of the Congress by the public, CPM MLA VK Prasanth said, "the yatra may have caused a revival within the Kerala Congress, but I don't think it has made any impact amongst the public. They hardly addressed people's issues."

While the yatra has definitely been successful in reviving the party, the rivalry between both the Left parties in the state, the Congress-led UDF and the CPM-led LDF seems to be taking the focus away from driving the Bharatiya Janata Party out of the state.

Speaking about the CPM's rapport with the Congress, he added, "for the Left parties in Kerala, the BJP is our main opponent, not the Congress. But the Kerala Congress has been mainly focusing on opposing the ruling party. However, at a national level, we obviously hope for a front that includes the Congress."

However, Saji Joseph, on the other hand, said, "In other states like Tamil Nadu, the ruling parties are willing to stand with the Congress. But the CPM in Kerala, they are trying to drive the Congress out of the state."