Rahul launches poll campaign in UP
The Congress party marks the beginning of a new era on Sunday with high-profile MP Rahul Gandhi launching the party's poll campaign for the first time in India's most populous state - Uttar Pradesh.
The scion of India's first political family and son of Congress president Sonia Gandhi will undertake a two-day road show followed by a series of public rallies on the third day.
He is to cover a large part of farm-rich western Uttar Pradesh, where polling is scheduled in the first round of the state's seven-phased polling April 7.
Rahul will address his first public rally at Muradnagar at 11.30 am, followed by a road show in Meerut town. The next rally at Mawana town is scheduled for 3.30 pm, said Congress spokesman Akhilesh Singh.
After a night-halt in Meerut, Rahul will start his second day Monday by garlanding a statue of former prime minister late Chaudhary Charan Singh, widely revered as a patriarch of the strong farming community in western Uttar Pradesh. His son Ajit Singh now heads the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), which was in the process of striking a poll alliance with the Congress. Western Uttar Pradesh is RLD's only stronghold in the state.
Rahul will also garland a statue of his grandmother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi an hour later in neighbouring Khatauli town.
He is slated to address a huge rally at Muzaffarnagar around noon after which he would drive down to Deoband for another rally scheduled at 4 pm.
The Congress MP from Amethi will spend the night in Muzaffarnagar to commence his travels by a chopper on Tuesday to address half-a-dozen poll rallies in different parts of Barielly, Budaun and Bijnore districts.