Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi is invoking a historical connect for the party's formal launch of an aggressive campaign to regain lost glory in Uttar Pradesh in the 2012 assembly polls.
Gandhi will kick off the party’s election campaign on Monday from Phulpur, the constituency of his great grandfather and the country's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, in Allahabad.
In the run-up to the rally, Gandhi is the focus of most of the party’s hoardings, posters and banners put on the main crossing and roads leading to the venue, the Railway Ground (Triveninagar) at Jhusi.
A number of posters and banners have his pictures with Nehru. In many others, Gandhi is present with the slogan, Jawab Hum Denge (We will give a befitting reply), in the backdrop of pictures of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Volunteers of the Congress Seva Dal took out a torch procession on Sunday evening and the slogans focused on Gandhi.
Senior party leaders including general secretary Digvijaya Singh and union coal minister Sri Prakash Jaiswal have reached Allahabad. State Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi and Congress legislature party leader Pramod Tiwari have been camping in the area, touring neighbouring districts.
The rally could intensify the war of words between the Congress and the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party.
“Phulpur has now turned into a BSP bastion. So Rahul Gandhi will definitely corner the (chief minister) Mayawati government on the issues concerning development and corruption," said a Congress functionary.
To derive maximum advantage from Gandhi's rally, 10 senior leaders have been deputed to take out jan sampark (mass contact) yatras across the state in the coming days. Each yatra will cover nearly 40 assembly constituencies.