Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will open his campaign trail for upcoming Bihar elections on September 20 with a rally at Champaran from where Mahatma Gandhi had launched his first satyagraha for indigo farmers in 1917.
Congress sources said Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad are being roped in to make it another “mega” event after the Swabhiman rally in Patna on August 30.
The Champaran rally is part of the Congress party’s year-long programme to celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of Dalit icon and architect of Indian Constitution, BR Ambedkar.
There has been intense speculation that Gandhi would not share the stage with Prasad despite their parties being in the grand alliance. The relations between the two have been “uneasy” after Rahul vetoed a UPA government’s ordinance to protect convicted lawmakers in September 2013 that would have helped Prasad remain an
MP, even if without pay and without voting rights in Parliament till acquitted in the fodder scam case.
Even for the coming elections, Gandhi was keen to have an alliance with Nitish, a move that played a key role in forcing Prasad to accept the JD(U) leader as the chief ministerial candidate of the grand alliance.
Officially, the Congress insisted that Gandhi was not averse to the idea. “The meaning of an alliance is to fight united. Congress president has shared the dais. Question does not arise of the Congress vice-president not doing so,” party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.