The Congress is all set to kick-start its campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from the home turf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah with a high-powered meeting of its Working Committee and a public rally by its top leaders here today.
The high-profile events, which were postponed following the Pulwama attack and the subsequent air strikes by India on a suspected terror camp in Pakistan, will come against the backdrop of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party engineering defections of Congress legislators in Gujarat with three of them having quit in the last four days to join it. Political circles are agog with speculation that a few more MLAs are in the queue.
“It is after 1961, a gap of 58 years, that Gujarat is going to host a meeting of Congress Working Committee. It is also being held to commemorate the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi beginning a new chapter in India’s independence struggle by launching the ‘Salt Satyagraha’ to Dandi on March 12, 1930,” Congress leader Rajeev Satav told reporters.
“Walking in the footsteps of the Mahatma, the Congress will launch a new independence movement to save democracy,” he added.
The meeting of the Congress Working Committee, the highest decision-making arm of the party, will be attended by party president Rahul Gandhi, United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi, party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh, among other senior party leaders.
Giving details of the itinerary, Satav said the leaders would begin their day with a prayer meeting at the Gandhi Ashram in Sabarmati and after paying floral tributes to martyrs at a memorial in the city, would proceed to attend the CWC meeting at the Sardar Patel National Memorial.
“Later in the afternoon, they would address a massive Jan Sankalp rally with a slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’. It is the first time that Rahul, Sonia, Priyanka and Manmohan Singh, along with several leaders, would address any public rally,” he said.
The party’s star campaigner Priyanka Gandhi is expected to make her first public address after being anointed the party general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Firebrand young Patidar leader Hardik Patel, who spearheaded the Patel reservation agitation since July 2015, is expected to join the Congress in the presence of the top brass today and is eyeing to the contest the Lok Sabha elections.
“Besides giving the final shape to party’s election strategy, the Congress Working Committee would seek answers to failures and unfulfilled promises of the Modi government on governance, agrarian distress, economic issues, unemployment, national security and women’s safety,” Satav said.
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