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As Congress morale flags, sonia to hit campaign trail

india Updated: Dec 05, 2012 01:30 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi

After addressing a rally at Rajkot in October, Congress president Sonia Gandhi will again hit the campaign trail in Gujarat on Friday.

Gandhi will address poll meetings at Mandvi in south Gujarat and Keshod in Junagadh district. There are reports that she may visit Somnath temple.

With Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi consistently attacking the Congress party's central leadership, it remains to be seen whether she would respond to his rhetoric. She had avoided any direct reference to Modi at her Rajkot rally.

The central leadership, this time, decided to deny tickets to those who had lost the past two elections in 2002 and 2007, a move that angered many prospective candidates and their supporters. It resulted in largescale exodus of candidates from the Congress to the BJP.

Fearing protests and rebellion that had been witnessed after the first list of candidates was declared, the Congress withdrew its second list hours after issuing it. The party has since given mandates — Form B — discreetly to candidates for filling up their nomination papers.