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Rahul Gandhi rows Kerala’s famous snake boat, wins exhibition race | Kozhikode News – Times of India


KOTTAYAM: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi debuted as an oarsman of the famed snake boats in Kerala as the snake boat rowed by him on Monday won an exhibition race in Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha where the famous Nehru Trophy Boat race is held annually.

The exhibition race was held after Rahul expressed his wish to witness the race which had once thrilled his great-grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru. It was after a trip in Kuttanad in a houseboat during his Bharat Jodo Yatra, Rahul participated in the exhibition race. The race, which included three snake boats, began by 3.50pm. Rahul removed his shoe before entering the snake boat ‘Naduvileparamban’ rowed by the oarsmen of NCDC boat club, Kumarakom. AICC general secretary K C Venugopal also accompanied Rahul in the snake boat. Rahul rowed in accordance with the rhythm of the ‘vanchippattu’ and his boat won the race much ahead of Aanari Chundan which came second. Vellamkulangara finished third.
“When we all work together in perfect harmony, there is nothing we cannot accomplish,” Tweeted Rahul after the race.

The first snake boat race in Kuttanad was reportedly an impromptu one in 1952, conducted to honour the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. He chanced a trip from Kottayam by boat to Alappuzha where he was given a rousing reception with snake boats. A race was conducted then and Nehru was so thrilled that he jumped into the winning snake boat forgetting all security arrangements. On his return to Delhi, Nehru donated a silver trophy, which is a replica of a snake boat placed on a wooden abacus. The Nehru Trophy has since then been the Kuttanad snakeboat races’ most coveted prize.
Rahul also interacted with the representatives from the tourism industry and discussed issues and opportunities in the sector.
Earlier, he began the day interacting with fisherfolk, listening to the issues faced by them. They shared various issues like rising fuel price, dwindling fish stock, lack of social welfare policies and education opportunities with Rahul.

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