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HindustanTimes Fri,31 Oct 2014

Rahul to kick off Bihar poll campaign on Sept 4

Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 31, 2010
First Published: 23:56 IST(31/8/2010) | Last Updated: 23:58 IST(31/8/2010)

The battle for Bihar is set to hot up with Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi kicking off the party's poll campaign with rallies at Saharsa and Samastipur on September 4.

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After Uttar Pradesh, Gandhi is now keen on resurrecting the Congress in another Hindi heartland state of Bihar where it has been out of power for past more than two decades.

Congress leaders are hoping Gandhi's "image and magic will do the trick" for the party in the upcoming elections and help in resuscitating it in the state.

"We were ill in Bihar. We got a good doctor, who gave us the right medicine. There is a change of mindset in Bihar after Rahulji's visit. We will reach our destination under his leadership," Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid recently said.

The coming election for the Congress, which has decided to go it alone, is a prestige issue and the party is bracing up to show it's back in the reckoning.

On her part, Congress president Sonia Gandhi has already set the agenda with her remarks at the Congress parliamentary party meeting on August 19.

"Ours is the only party to have an all inclusive development agenda. Never before has Bihar received so much of financial assistance from the Centre for development," she had said.

Congress workers, according to Khurshid who visited Bihar recently, are "excited and raring to go" after the party decided to fight on its own. "There is a readiness for change among people," he said.

The state unit has prepared its election manifesto and sent it to the central brass for approval. It will soon start selecting its candidates as the state unit is expected to send its recommendations for each seat to the screening committee.

On Saturday, Gandhi will address the public meet at Saharsa, home district of Bihar Congress chief Mahboob Ali Kaiser.


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