Sonia likely to kickstart Cong campaign in Guj from Oct 2 | india | Hindustan Times
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Sonia likely to kickstart Cong campaign in Guj from Oct 2

india Updated: Sep 26, 2012 19:48 IST
Mahesh Langa

With the crucial assembly polls round the corner, Gujarat is all set to see a rise in political temperature.

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi is already on a month long Swami Vivekanand Yatra and Congress president Sonia Gandhi is likley to kickstart the party's campaign by addressing two public rallies in Porbandar and Rajkot on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Moreover, former chief minister and opponent of Modi, Keshubhai Patel is also set to embark upon a Parivartan Yatra from Virpur near Rajkot from Sept 27, seeking change at the helm of affairs in the state.

"I have urged the Congress president Sonia Gandhi to address two public rallies in Porbandar and Rajkot on October 2," said Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhvadia who is also a Porbandar MLA.

He added that the state unit will organise farmers' rallies because almost two dozen farmers have committed suicide in the region due to drought and the Modi government yet to do anything to help them tackle the situation.

According to sources, Sonia will first visit Kirti Mandir in Porbandar -- the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary -- and address a farmers' convention there. She may cross Modi's path at the Mahatma's birth place, as he visits the place every year on the day.

As the state approaches the polls, Saurashtra region -- largest geographical block in the state with eight districts and 58 MLAs in its kitty in the house of total 182 members -- is emerging as the main battle ground with Keshubhai and Congress both heavily focusing in the area to see that Modi's electoral juggernaut is halted.

So far since 1995, Saurashtra has remained loyal to the saffron party, which has seen over 45 MLAs win from the region.

Credited with building BJP's formidable vote bank among the dominant Patel community in the region, Keshubhai is pursuing them to divert their loyalty from the party.

Octogenarian Patel has already announced that he would be contesting the assembly polls from his erstwhile assembly segment Visavadar in Junagadh district while his son Bharat Patel is likely to fight the polls from Patel dominated Gondal seat in Rajkot.

Meanwhile, Congress is targeting OBC communities spread across the rural and semi urban parts in the region.