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Rahul Gandhi to meet Congress workers in Gujarat today

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will look into the functioning of the state leadership and also listen to the grievances of party workers.

india Updated: Sep 04, 2017 12:41 IST
Hiral Dave
Hiral Dave
Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
Rahul Gandhi,Congress,Gujarat Congress
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi talks to people during a visit to Gorakhpur. He will visit Gujarat and speak with party workers and listen to their grievances. (HT file photo)

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will meet party workers from Gujarat’s 182 assembly constituencies to hold a dialogue with them at the Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad on Monday afternoon just months before the western state goes to polls.

A T-shape ramp and a dome have been erected by the party for the event which is expected to be attended by some 10,000 workers.

“Election or worker rallies are common. Through this platform, Rahulji will directly connect with the cadre,’’ said Bharatsinh Solanki, president of the Gujarat unit of the Congress.

The workers will apprise Gandhi of the functioning of the state leadership and also air their grievances. The Congress leader will also seek their assessment of the elections scheduled for November-December this year.

The event comes after the high-octane Rajya Sabha election in which party veteran Ahmed Patel won despite six of Congress MLAs resigning and other eight cross-voting in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The hard-fought victory of Patel has breathed fresh life into the otherwise crumbling Gujarat Congress months before the state goes to polls. Upbeat after the RS win, the Congress wants to rejuvenate the cadre through the event before Gandhi kicks start the campaign for the assembly election to be held at the end of this year.

Though it won the seat, the grand old party suffered a blow after 14 of its MLAs, including veteran leader Shankersinh Vaghela, quit the party.

In a shot in the arm for the Congress, as many as 500 full-time activists of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) joined the party on Sunday expressing anguish over their two legislators switching loyalties to the ruling BJP during the recent Rajya Sabha elections.

The Congress is out of power for more than two decades in Gujarat and will face a tough task given that BJP president Amit Shah has already set an ambitious target of 150-plus seats in the 182-member House.

As a part of the campaign, Gandhi will also undertake a 4,000km yatra in Gujarat. He is expected to start the yatra from September 22 and travel through Saurashtra and north Gujarat for four days in the first phase. Later, he will hold similar yatras in central and south Gujarat.

Tight security arrangements have been made at the venue after a stone hurled at his cavalcade smashed the window pane of Gandhi’s car when he was touring a flood-affected area in Gujarat last month.

First Published: Sep 04, 2017 12:41 IST