New Delhi: Congress leader and former party chief Rahul Gandhi is likely to address six election rallies as part of the party’s election campaign in Bihar.
Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) chief Madan Mohan Jha said that Gandhi is slated to launch his campaign for the party nominees at Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur and Hisua in Nawada on October 23.
“So far, Rahul Gandhi has given his consent to address six rallies, two each in the three-phased elections. More rallies may be planned if the situation arises,” said Jha.
The former Congress chief’s rally is set to coincide with the programme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is also scheduled to start his public address for the assembly elections, the polling for which is to start on October 28. The BJP had planned as many as 12 rallies by PM Modi during the electioneering for NDA candidates in Bihar.
Jha said that the schedule and the venue for next round of public address by Gandhi would be decided later. It is believed that RJD leader and chief ministerial face of the Grand Alliance (GA) Tejashwi Prasad Yadav may share the stage with the Congress leader. However, it is not yet clear if AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra would also address election meetings in Bihar.
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The Congress has fielded as many as 70 candidates in the fray for the three-phased elections in Bihar. This is the maximum number of seats the party managed to contest after 2005. In November 2005 polls, the Congress got 51 seats to contest in alliance with the RJD and 41 during the last assembly elections under the GA, then consisting JD(U) also.
Former director of AN Sinha institute of social studies DM Diwakar said the issues taken up by the top leaders were more than the number of rallies during the elections. “PM Modi had addressed 31 rallies during 2015 assembly elections which was more than double attended by Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Still, the BJP had to be contented with only 53 seats,” said Diwakar.
Diwakar added that people are not taking the PM Modi’s rhetoric very seriously now. “Modi is seldom seen talking about serious issues such as the state of the economy, which is in shambles, or about shrinking jobs, auctioning of public sector undertakings, measures to tide over the social impact of the lockdown, health and education, among other pressing issues. Anti-incumbency is there against Nitish Kumar-led dispensation. The GA may capitalise on the issues people of Bihar are grappling with,” he added.