Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi is now planning to go for the jugular of none other than Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Gandhi is stepping out of traditional Congress strongholds Amethi and Rae Bareli to capture Yadav’s bastion Etawah.
“Amethi and Rae Bareli do not constitute Uttar Pradesh. We will have to win seats in Etawah and Poorvanchal where the Congress just gets 2,000 votes,” he told party workers here.
He also raised the bars set by his own Mission UP 2012, saying, “Formation of government in Uttar Pradesh will mark the beginning”, while real improvement will take 10 to 12 years.
Stressing the need for bringing more people into the party fold, he said those being inducted “should not have a criminal or communal background. He should not be a member of the Students Islamic Movement of India or other communal organisations”.
Gandhi said although the organisation was doing well in Amethi, the party would have to be established firmly in other parts of the state.
This was Gandhi’s first visit after the Congress lost the Vidhan Parishad (upper house) election in Sultanpur, about 140 km from state capital Lucknow.
He visited the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology here, and pulled up ministry officials for the slow pace of work on the Rs 500 crore project.