Congress president Sonia Gandhi flagged a three-day bus yatra to Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, formally launching the party’s campaign for the next year’s assembly elections in the state where the Congress has remained on the margins.
Sonia flagged the bus yatra from the party’s national headquarters at 24, Akbar Road in the national capital in the presence of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and other senior leaders.
The ‘27 Saal, UP Behaal (27 years, UP has been in a mess) yatra will cover a distance of 600 km crisscrossing four districts in the state every day. On the first day, it will cover Ghaziabad, Hapur, Amroha and Moradabad.
It will then travel to Shahjahanpur, Rampur and Bareilly on the second day and then to Hardoi and Kannauj before culminating at Kanpur on the final day.
“The aim is to highlight the failures and misgovernance by the successive governments of Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and BJP in UP for last 27 years,” UP Congress campaign committee chairperson Sanjay Singh said.
The party lost power in the 1989 state elections to the now-defunct Janata Dal. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who was a Janata Dal leader, succeeded Narayan Dutt Tiwari of the Congress after the party’s loss in 1989.
Congress leaders also said that the idea behind the campaign is to reach out to every voter at least three or four times in the run-up to the polls, scheduled in February-March this year. Senior leaders such as Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sheila Dikshit, Raj Babbar and Pramod Tiwari will address the public as the yatra covers the various cities and towns.
The party recently announced former Delhi chief minister Dikshit as the chief ministerial candidate in the state and actor-turned-politician Babbar as the state party chief.
Singh said the yatra will be followed by a meeting of the state unit, which will be chaired by Rahul, in Lucknow on July 29. The Congress president will also participate in a road show in Varanasi, the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on August 2.
The Congress has also announced campaign in-charge of all the 18 divisions of the state, accommodating leaders left out of the other panels. Former national spokesperson Rashid Alvi will be in-charge of Moradabad, ex-MP Anu Tandon of Lucknow and former Union minister Pradip Jain Aditya will oversee party’s campaign in Jhansi.