Amidst a cheering crowd, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday launched her party’s poll campaign in Uttar Pradesh by paying tributes to Dalit icon B R Ambedkar in Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Gandhi and hundreds of her supporters gathered near a statue of Ambedkar in Kutchery area and paid floral tributes to the architect of the Constitution.
Gandhi, along with her cavalcade of more than 50 vehicles, then took off on a roadshow in Nadesar area. The Congress president waved to the crowd from her car as thousands tried to catch a glimpse of her. Enthusiastic women were seen cheering and waving as she proceeded towards Chauka Ghat where many Congressmen danced to the beats of drums.
Earlier, she was given a rousing welcome by party workers, led by Pindra MLA Ajay Rai, on her arrival at Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport here.
At Babatpur trisection, thousands of Congress workers joined the cavalcade on motorcycles. The slogans of ‘Sonia Gandhi zindabad, Rahul Gandhi zindabad’ reverberated in the air.
The roadshow will cover Pili Kothi, where Gandhi is scheduled to meet women weavers, followed by Bishesharganj, Maidagin, Kabir Chaura areas and will conclude at Kamlapati Tripathi memorial at Englishia Line, where she will address party workers.
Gandhi will harp on the lack of development in PM’s constituency and the ‘pain of Banaras’ during the roadshow.
UPCC president Raj Babbar, Congress’s chief ministerial candidate Sheila Dikshit, senior leaders Salman Khurshid, Pramod Tewari, Sriprakash Jaiswal, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, former MP Anu Tandon, MLA Ajay Rai and former MP Rajesh Mishra were among those accompanying her in the roadshow.