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Rahul's 'Mission 85' to focus on reserved seats

Last updated on: January 16, 2012 21:23 IST

Rahul's 'Mission 85' to focus on reserved seats

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Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi wants Congressmen to concentrate on the reserved constituencies of Uttar pradesh and on the area where Muslim votes make a crucial difference. He has formed teams to send all the Dalit constituencies, and this exercise is being called 'Mission 85'. Sheela Bhatt reports.

"Rahul is confident and inspiring. He is leading from the front," says a Congressmen who heard Rahul in the closed-door meeting that took place to take stock of ground reality in the electoral battlefield of Uttar Pradesh, on January 14 in New Delhi.

Congress' 'war room' in New Delhi has geared up and Rahul is the trump card; rather, the only card Congressmen have in UP to bank upon.

To their surprise, Rahul told to select Congressmen on January 14; that, "We must work hard and win UP so that it will effect other states."

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Image: Rahul Gandhi during his UP tour


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Rahul expects a 'Domino effect' in UP

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He argued that if Congress wins enough seats to be a part of government in Lucknow, there will be a Domino effect, and the state governments in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh would fall like a pack of cards.

He also told his cadre and leaders to go all out to support Congress candidates in the reserved constituencies. They are calling it 'Mission 85' to drum up support and the party propaganda to help Congress candidates in the reserved seats in UP.

Rahul has given leadership to members of Parliament P L Punia and Ashok Tanwar to send teams to oversee the Dalit constituencies. Rahul was looking overjoyed and smiling when someone mentioned that how the Anna hazare movement has failed and there is no threat from him.

In the meeting, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh also spoke and told the audience that party men should speak about 4.5 per cent  reservation, and argued that the Muslim population in UP is 22 per cent, but they are not even given a half share in quotas because of the Supreme Court's restrictions on the upper limit of quota.

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Image: Rahul addressing a gathering in UP


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'The Congress should fight and win on its own'

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Singh also told partymen to speak for the Other Backward Classes and see that they should not feel hurt by 4.5 per cent reservation for minorities.

Rahul mentioned that in the last Lok Sabha elections, he conducted negotiations with the Samajwadi Party and they were offering Congress negligible seats out of 80.

He said he decided then that the Congress should fight alone and win on its own strength even if it wins only five seats. Congress won 22 seats in the last Lok Sabha elections.


Image: Rahul addressing a gathering in UP


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