Rahul set to enter battleground Gujarat today

10:22 AM, Tuesday, December 11th, 2012
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Rahul GandhiAhemdabad: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi will finally enter the battleground in Gujarat on Tuesday just two days ahead of first phase of polling in the BJP-ruled state.

Taking the Congress’ campaign against hardline Chief Minister Narendra Modi forward, Rahul is set to address public rallies at Jamnagar, Amreli and Ahmedabad during his day-long visit to the state.

Sanand, Jamnagar and Amreli fall in the Saurashtra regions where Modi is set to face a tough challenge from BJP rebels led by Keshubhai Patel.

Ahead of Rahul Gandhi, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have already campaigned in the state where the party is out of power for two decades.

Congress high command decided to send Rahul Gandhi to campaign for the party in Gujarat after Modi dared him to enter the state.

In his previous poll speeches, Modi had said that Rahul was afraid of campaigning in Gujarat because he did not want to take responsibility of his party’s defeat.

“One of the Congress leaders from whom they have big expectations had camped in Uttar Pradesh for 12 months and people kicked that party out of the state. This ‘precious’ leader of the Congress has not dared to campaign here for assembly elections,” Modi had said.

“The leader knows the temperament of Gujarati people. He has realised that they won’t be able to impress the people of Gujarat. Hence, he decided to pay merely token visits here. He doesn’t want to take the responsibility of his party’s defeat here,” the Chief Minister had said.

This time, Congress leadership has made a deliberate attempt to prevent polarisation of election campaign on communal lines and refrained from touching on the issue of post-Godhra riots, which it had used to the hilt in last assembly elections.

The star campaigners of Congress have been targeting Modi’s development claims instead this time.

Gujarat goes to polls Dec 13 and 17. The results will be out Dec 20.

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