The Congress is banking on the Gandhi family’s charisma to tide the wave in its favour in the coming assembly polls in Bihar.
While Congress president Sonia Gandhi is likely to address about 10 election meetings, the party has planned 16 public rallies for Rahul Gandhi across the state, including the Naxal-affected areas, till the end of polls next month.
The meetings have been planned in 26 of 38 district headquarters. The six-phased polls for 243 assembly constituencies in Bihar will begin on October 20 and end on November 20. The results will be out on November 24.
Congress sources said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh might also address one or two election meetings.
The coming election for the Congress, which is going solo in the state, is a prestige issue.
Congress managers are hopeful that the Gandhi family’s “image and magic will do the trick” for the party in the elections and help in resuscitating it in the state.
“These meetings will change the entire poll scene in Bihar and turn the tide in our favour. The results will surprise everybody,” said a senior leader.
After Uttar Pradesh, Rahul is now keen on resurrecting the Congress in Bihar where the party has been out of power for more than two decades. He kicked off the party’s campaign with rallies at Saharsa and Samastipur on September 4.
The party is taking all steps to ensure criminals don’t join its ranks. “A complete background check of probable candidates will be done at the district level. By this, we will ensure candidates with clean image are only given tickets,” said Mukul Wasnik, party general secretary in-charge of Bihar.