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Rahul's roadshow kickstarts Congress UP campaign
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | March 18, 2007 14:24 IST
Sunday morning marked the launch of the Congress party's election campaign, led by its high profile MP Rahul Gandhi. He has, for the first time, been entrusted with the all-important task in the politically crucial Uttar Pradesh, where a 7-phased Assembly poll is slated to take place over April and May.
The scion of India's political first family and son of Congress president Sonia Gandhi will undertake a two-day roadshow followed by a series of public rallies on the third day.
He will cover a large part of farm-rich Western UP, where polling is scheduled in the first round on April 7.
According to Congress spokesman Akhilesh Singh, "The roadshow begins from the Delhi-Ghaziabad border at 9.30 am."
Rahul addressed his first public rally at Muradnagar, followed by a road show in Meerut town. The next public rally was scheduled in Mawana town.
After staying the night in Meerut, Rahul will start his second day 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, which was in the process of striking a poll alliance with the Congress party. Western UP happens to be RLD's only stronghold in UP.
Rahul will address a huge rally at Muzaffarnagar, after which he will drive down to Deoband, where another rally was will be held. The rally at Deoband draws its significance from the fact that it was the headquarters of a major Islamic school of thought, which influences a wide spectrum of Muslims across the country. Muslims are clearly very high on the target list of Congress voters.
The Congress MP from Amethi will spend the night in Muzaffarnagar and commence his chopper hop on the third day (Tuesday), when he will address half-a-dozen poll rallies in different parts of Bareli, Budaun and Bijnore districts.