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Rahul Gandhi’s agenda after US visit: Election campaign in Gujarat’s Saurashtra

Gujarat, along with Himachal Pradesh, goes to polls in November-December this year.

india Updated: Sep 19, 2017 07:47 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rahul Gandhi,Gujarat election,Gujarat polls
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will visit Gujarat as part of his election campaign.(Arun Sharma/HT photo)

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will kick-start the second leg of his Gujarat election campaign with a three-day tour of Saurashtra from September 25 soon after his return from the United States.

Gandhi had launched the campaign with a workers’ meet at Ahmedabad on September 4. Gujarat, along with Himachal Pradesh, goes to polls in November-December this year.

Stepping up its preparations for the upcoming polls, the opposition party is keen to incorporate the issues raised by the common people in its manifesto. It has sought ideas under the statewide programme — Ichchha Tamari, Sankalp Amaro (Your Wish, Our Determination) — from the people of Gujarat to be included in the document.

The party has also finalised its campaign slogan “Congress Aave Che — Navsarjan Lave Che” (A Resurgent Gujarat under Congress) and also expedited its efforts to bring different forces on one platform.

Confident of securing the support of Patidar leader Hardik Patel, the Congress is trying hard to get social activist and lawyer Jignesh Mevani and OBC leader Alpesh Thakor on board.

At the forefront of the Ambedkarite movement in Gujarat, Mevani, 36, has emerged as the face of Dalits who comprise about 7-8% of the total population in the western state.

Thakor, who heads the OBC/ST/SC Ekta Manch and founder of Gujarat Kshatriya-Thakor Sena, has ruled out any support to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which will contest the elections on certain selected seats, and insisted that the people of the state have only two options — BJP and Congress. As of now, he is keeping both parties guessing and has said he will announce his poll strategy at a rally in Gandhinagar on October 2.

The Congress vice president will launch his Saurashtra zone yatra from Dwarka. The party has divided Gandhi’s entire campaign programme into four zones and he is expected to camp in the particular region for three consecutive days during each leg of his campaign tour.

First Published: Sep 19, 2017 07:45 IST