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Congress plans mega opposition rally in Narendra Modi’s Gujarat on September 1

Congress prepares to kick off Gujarat assembly election campaign with opposition rally next month.

india Updated: Aug 18, 2017 12:29 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Congress,Opposition Rally,Gujarat assembly election
The Congress is trying to regain power in Gujarat after 22 years. (HT PHOTO)

After the show of strength by rebel Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav in Delhi on Thursday, the Congress is now planning a mega opposition rally in Gujarat on September 1.

Congress sources said the conclave of “like-minded” opposition parties will be held at Padri in Valsad district of south Gujarat.

With this, the Congress will also kick-off its campaign for the upcoming assembly elections in the state, scheduled to be held in November-December this year.

The rally comes days after the Congress tasted success in the August 8 Rajya Sabha elections that saw senior leader Ahmed Patel emerging victorious despite the ruling BJP’s desperate bid to stall his fifth term in the Upper House of Parliament. Ahead of the rally in Gujarat, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad is scheduled to host a similar public meeting in Patna on August 27.

The Congress is keen to give a tough fight to the BJP that has been in power in the state for the past 19 years. Despite being weakened by the exit of senior leader Shankersinh Vaghela, Patel’s victory has boosted the grand old party’s morale.

At his meeting with party leaders from Gujarat on Thursday, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi asked them to fight the assembly elections and defeat the BJP with same “zeal and vigour” they had shown in the Rajya Sabha polls. The Congress is struggling to regain power in the western state for the past 22 years. Late Chhabildas Mehta was the last Congress chief minister in Gujarat from 1994-1995.

Read more: I am not in race for CM’s post: Ahmed Patel

It was also decided at Thursday’s meeting that Gandhi will campaign extensively in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, and stay there for spells of 4-5 days.

Gandhi’s last visit to Gujarat on August 4 to assess flood damage had turned into slugfest between the Congress and the BJP after his car was attacked allegedly the workers of the ruling party. However, home minister Rajnath Singh dismissed the charge and claimed that Gandhi had violated the security norm by refusing to travel in a bullet proof car.

First Published: Aug 18, 2017 12:29 IST