iconimg Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Hindustan Times
Mumbai, April 20, 2014
Congress president Sonia Gandhi's one-day tour to Maharashtra on Sunday was cancelled due to health concerns, party sources said. She was scheduled to address rallies in Mumbai as well as Nandurbar and Dhule in north Maharashtra ahead of the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections in the state next Thursday.

Sonia is yet to visit Mumbai in the run-up to the crucial polls, even though Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had held a rally in Mumbai at the very beginning of his election campaign.

The Congress' Mumbai rally will now be addressed by Sonia's son and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Raj Babbar will address the rallies in Nandurbar and Dhule.

The Mumbai rally was being viewed as the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) combine's show of strength in the city. The ruling alliance, which is battling a decade-long anti-incumbency, had won all the six seats here in 2009.

The BJP - Shiv Sena combination on Monday will hold a rally at the venue — Bandra-Kurla complex — where Sonia was scheduled to take the dais. The opposition's rally will feature BJP's star campaigner Modi.

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had supervised the preparations for the Congress rally with all city MLAs and MPs, asking them to ensure that the rally ground was packed.

Chavan is not known as an efficient campaign organiser and there have been complaints during these polls that resources have not been adequate. For this rally, however, party leaders had joined hands to ensure its success.