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Varanasi: Sonia Gandhi to hold mega roadshow in PM Modi’s bastion today; to woo Dalits, Brahmins

Kicking off poll campaign for Uttar Pradesh Assembly election early next year, Congress president Sonia Gandhi will today hold a mega roadshow in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency, Varanasi.
India TV Politics Desk Varanasi August 02, 2016 12:29 IST
India TV Politics Desk

Kicking off the poll campaign for Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections early next year, Congress president Sonia Gandhi today arrived in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency, Varanasi., where she will hold a mega rally.

Thousands of party workers will be participating Sonia’s road show which will cover nearly 8 km, passing through the busy and narrow lanes of the city. The roadshow will begin from Kachahari at noon after party leaders garland the statue of BR Ambedkar and will cover the distance in three hours. It will conclude at Englishiyaline where Sonia is expected to deliver a short speech and garland the statue of former union minister and Uttar Pradesh chief minister late Kamlapati Tripathi.

She will also garland statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sardar Patel falling enroute, Congress district unit president Prajanath Sharma said, adding that ahead of her roadshow, the Congress chief will visit the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple to offer prayers.

The Congress chief is expected to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his bastion over ‘lack of development’ despite his promise made during the 2014 Lok Sabha campaign to turn around the holy city. The roadshow is also aimed at rejuvenating her party workers ahead of the crucial Assembly polls.

Insiders from the party say that Sonia’s roadshow is part of the party’s plans to boost worker morale in the state, especially in eastern UP. The Congress president, who did not campaign in Varanasi during the Lok Sabha elections, will especially woo the Dalit and Brahmin communities, along with the weavers’ community, which has a significant presence in the region.

On Monday, party’s chief ministerial candidate Sheila Dikshit informed that the Congress has lined up a massive roadshow in which UP Congress chief Raj Babbar and senior leaders such as Ghulam Nabi Azad and Salman Khurshid will take part.

Maintaining that the roadshow is a part of the party’s ‘27 Saal, UP Behaal’ campaign, Dikshit said that the Congress wants to rid the state of ‘SP, BSP and BJP misrule of the last 27 years’ and put it on the path towards development.

Dikshit claimed the development of Uttar Pradesh was visible 27 years ago when the Congress was in power in the state but subsequent governments led by the SP, BSP and BJP misruled by playing out religion and caste-based politics.

Newly-appointed Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar claimed the party was confident of forming the government in the state in 2017.

The Congress is trying to revive its lost ground in Uttar Pradesh. The party is out of power in the state from last 27 years. At present, Congress has 28 MLAs in 403-member House.