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Rahul to target eastern UP from Thursday

April 21, 2004 15:54 IST
Last Updated: April 21, 2004 17:43 IST

Rahul Gandhi, the Congress candidate from Amethi and son of party chief Sonia Gandhi, would campaign and hold road-shows in several districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh beginning Thursday.

"Besides campaigning in his own Lok Sabha constituency Rahul would launch an extensive campaign through road-shows, first in eastern UP, beginning tomorrow," party sources said.

In his first phase of electioneering, the Gandhi scion would visit Gorakhpur, Deoria, Varanasi, Mirzapur, Basti and
adjoining districts in the politically-sensitive eastern UP and address the electorate ahead of the April 26 Lok Sabha polls.

Sonia Gandhi too had launched her first road-show in these areas last month, an apparent pointer to the region's
importance -- it accounts for 32 Lok Sabha seats out of the state's 80.

Though the party faired badly in the 1999 Lok Sabha polls, this time it expects better prospects, especially from Muslim
voters who constitute a sizeable number in the region.

The party has identified several winnable seats including Gorakhpur, Padrauna, Deoria, Mirzapur, Varanasi, Ghosi, Ghazipur, Domariaganj, Basti and Maharajganj.

After eastern UP, Rahul would continue his road-shows in other parts of the state for the third and fourth phase of
electioneering in the state on May 5 and 10, the sources said.

It was not immediately known whether his sister Priyanka Gandhi-Vadhra too would accompany him or if she would launch a separate campaign.

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