Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi will on Saturday campaign for the first time in the coming assembly elections in Gujarat during which he is widely expected to take on chief minister Narendra Modi.
Gandhi's main talking points at election meetings - with one rally scheduled
at Gandhidham in Kutch district - are going to be development and governance.
The party leadership has so far carefully avoided the elections to be viewed as a contest between him and Modi and kept the campaign a low-key affair with emphasis on highlighting the alleged corruption and mis-governance of the BJP government.
Party leaders hope the much-awaited visit will not only infuse a fresh lease of life in the faction-ridden state unit but also halt the growing dissidence in the party over ticket distribution.
Congress is finding it difficult to keep its flock together with many disgruntled and rebel leaders and workers joining the BJP in the run up to the elections.
Out of power in Gujarat for the past 17 years, the Congress is desperately seeking a revival of its fortunes in the state.
Chandulal Mehta headed the last Congress government in the state in 1995.