With an eye on the forthcoming assembly elections in Bihar, the Congress is planning a major offensive against state chief minister Nitish Kumar from Friday.
Buoyed by the success of general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s recent visit, the Congress is making an all-out effort to revive its fortunes in Bihar, where the party has been out of power since 1989. The party is going it alone in the assembly elections due in October.
While Rahul has set the tone, the party is organising a 50-day parivartan yatra in Bihar after Holi to expose the “failures” of the JD (U)-led government and its “tall claims” of good governance.
The ground for this yatra will be prepared by all state vice-presidents and general secretaries who will address rallies across the 243 constituencies from February 19 to 25.
The yatra itself will also be used to mobilise support, especially among the youth who had rallied behind Rahul and to re-establish the party’s claims on the UPA’s achievements, which the state government may be trying to project as its own.
Union Ministers touring the state during this period will apprise people of the central assistance provided to the state for the welfare programmes.
The yatra will culminate with a rally in Patna which, a leader said, is likely to be addressed either by Congress president Sonia Gandhi or Rahul.
The Congress is intent on projecting itself as an alternative to the ruling JD(U)-BJP and its former ally, RJD.
Towards this end, Rahul had launched an attack on the Nitish Kumar government. “The change that Bihar needs is not happening,” he said, charging the Bihar government with improper implementation of central government schemes like NREGA.