Rahul Gandhi to kickstart Congress’ Rajasthan campaign with Jaipur roadshow
The Congress has been upbeat since thumping the ruling BJP in Rajasthan, clinching two Lok Sabha and one state Assembly seats in bypolls in the key cow belt state in February.india Updated: Aug 11, 2018 08:11 IST
Congress president Rahul Gandhi will launch the party’s election campaign in poll bound Rajasthan on Saturday in his first visit to the state since taking over as party chief last December.
Gandhi will hold a road show and address party workers and leaders from all 33 districts at Jaipur’s Ramlila ground to boost the party’s bid to regain power in the state . He is also likely to visit the Govind Dev temple, the presiding deity of former royal family, in the walled city area.
The Congress has been upbeat since thumping the ruling BJP in Rajasthan, clinching two Lok Sabha and one state Assembly seats in bypolls in the key cow belt state in February. The party is seeking to leverage that momentum for the assembly elections likely to be held in December.
The Congress’ Rajasthan unit president Sachin Pilot, who has been credited with the party’s victory in the bypolls in February, said Gandhi’s address will enthuse party workers into working towards uprooting the BJP government from the state. The BJP and the Congress have alternately ruled Rajasthan since 1993.
“Jaipur was chosen as the venue of his first visit because it will set the tone for the entire state,” Pilot said. “Gandhi will lead from the front; he will give the message of victory to the party workers and will tell how we are going to campaign in the next three months.”
“Gandhi is coming to Rajasthan for the first time after becoming the Congress president. It is the city where he was elevated as the vice-president of the Congress party, so this place has a lot of significance for the party,” he added.
The party is also aiming to break the BJP’s clout in Jaipur district which comprises 19 assembly and two parliamentary constituencies. In the last two assembly elections (2008 and 2013), the Congress lost twice in a row on 10 seats, of which six are from Jaipur city – Jhotwara, Vidhyadhar Nagar, Kishanpole, Adarsh Nagar, Malviya Nagar and Sanganer.
“With Gandhi’s rally at Ramlila Maidan, located in the heart of the city, Congress aims to break into the saffron fortress. Jaipur is considered a BJP bastion and Congress has not been able to breach. The meeting will not just make impact in the city but on around 35 assembly seats of neighbouring districts such as Sikar, Alwar, Dausa, Tonk and Ajmer,” said political analyst Narayan Bareth.
The Congress president’s visit to Jaipur comes in the middle of chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s ‘Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra’ to shore up support for the BJP ahead of the elections.
A senior party leader said Gandhi will again visit the state towards the end of August for two days and thereafter in mid-September to campaign for the party.
(With inputs from PTI)
First Published: Aug 11, 2018 08:05 IST