Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who last week trashed the UPA government’s proposed ordinance on convicted lawmakers, will address two rallies in Aligarh and Rampur on October 9.
More such rallies are being proposed across the state in the coming days as part of an exercise in which the Congress proposes to focus on the UPA’s achievements and attack the Samajwadi Party government for its ‘failures’.
Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president Nirmal Khatri said the rallies were planned to thank the UPA government and the party leadership for the new food security and the land acquisition laws.
They will also mark launch of the party’s campaign for 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Much significance is being attached to the Congress’ decision to hold the party rallies in Aligarh and Rampur.
While Aligarh has been the epicentre of minority politics in the state, Rampur is the home district of the Samajwadi Party’s Muslim face and minister for parliamentary affairs Mohamamd Azam Khan, who has been in focus following a sting operation about his alleged role in ‘mishandling’ the Muzaffarnagar riots.
The Congress hopes for a major shift of votes in its favour following the SP government’s poor performance in handling the recent riots in Muzaffarnagar.
“The Congress leaders are getting a good response in the riot-affected areas.
The minority community is looking towards the Congress after the disappointing performance of the SP led government.
This shows a change in the mood of the people and may ultimately lead to a shift of votes in the party’s favour across the state in 2014 Lok Sabha elections,” said a senior party leader.
“The people are looking towards the Congress now,” said Congress Legislature Party leader Pradeep Mathur.
“The Congress never indulges in the politics of votes. Muzaffarnagar riots have, however, exposed the tacit understanding between the Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party. Both the parties want to spoil the state’s communal atmosphere before 2014 Lok Sabha elections,” said senior party leader Siraj Mehandi.
“Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has always believed that his party will gain if the BJP gains strength. The SP and the BJP are complementary and supplementary to each other,” said Mehandi.
UPCC spokesman Dwijendra Tripathi said the Congress had identified constituencies where its candidates had performed well in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
“Soon, the party will work out programmes to hold rallies at all these places,” said Tripathi.