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Cong pins revival hopes on Sonia show

CONGRESS PRESIDENT Sonia Gandhi?s address at the Nav Nirman rally in Kanpur is expected to raise the hope of a Congress revival among party workers in the State. The sign of a new hope emerging on the Congress horizon was palpable with party MP Rahul Gandhi also giving his consent to take part in the rally. His visit comes close on the heels of the demand in Congress circles that he give more time to resurrect the party in UP.

india Updated: Aug 08, 2006 01:24 IST

CONGRESS PRESIDENT Sonia Gandhi’s address at the Nav Nirman rally in Kanpur is expected to raise the hope of a Congress revival among party workers in the State.

The sign of a new hope emerging on the Congress horizon was palpable with party MP Rahul Gandhi also giving his consent to take part in the rally. His visit comes close on the heels of the demand in Congress circles that he give more time to resurrect the party in UP. So far, Rahul has not accepted any party post despite pressure that he should be given some responsibility in the Congress’ organisation. Rahul has, however, indicated that he would be ready to campaign for Congress in the coming Vidhan Sabha elections if the party high command asked him to do so. So this may mark the beginning of his increased participation in UP’s affairs, say Congress leaders.

This is for the first time that Rahul Gandhi has agreed to take part in any public meeting outside Amethi and Rae Bareli. So the occasion assumes significance.

“This gives sufficient indication that Rahul will give more time to UP in days to come,” said a senior Congress functionary.

“The Kanpur show has been named Nav Nirman rally,” he said and added, “it will be a show of strength and mark the beginning of a new era of not only the party’s revival but also reconstruction of UP”.

The occasion would also mark the launch of Congress’ election campaign. So all eyes would be set on the crowd that the party proposes to mobilise. All out efforts are already being made to ensure a huge turnout.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Ashok Gehlot and Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president Salman Khurshid have already toured the adjoining districts to mobilise crowd. UPCC Organisation Incharge Satyadev Tripathi said the mood in party was upbeat and he expected large crowd there.

As the Nav Nirman rally is being organised on the eve of Quit India day, Congressmen would begin their campaign to oust the Mulayam Sing Yadav Government from there, UPCC chief spokesman Akhilesh Pratap Singh said.

Interestingly the UPCC has been agitating in the past also to focus on the prevailing law and order situation and development of Uttar Pradesh. This is, however, for the first time that the party proposes to hold such a large show of strength, feel observers.

Thus the rally would also prove to be an acid test for Salman Khurshid, they say. Although new faces have been inducted in the district congress committees, Khurshid still await the party high command’s nod to reconstitute the UPCC. Khurshid hopes the party high command would give its nod soon and the success of the rally would usher the party in a new era of revival. At present, Khurshid has to depend only on his trusted aides and the 45-member committee that he constituted to make the Nav Nirman rally a success. Already efforts are being made to involve all factions of Congressmen. As Kanpur is considered to be comparatively a strong bastion of Congress the job becomes more challenging for Khurshid and his partymen.