New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi is slated to hold 13 massive rallies in Uttar Pradesh soon, thus setting the tone for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Rahul will commence his poll campaign from state capital Lucknow, most probably after February 6. The prominent places where the rallies are expected to be held are Gorakhpur, Gonda, Aligarh, Saharanpur, Sitapur, Agra, Moradabad, Varanasi, Prayagraj (after the completion of Kumbh Mela), and Kanpur. The Congress has given the key responsibility of arrangement of such massive rallies to senior leaders of the party.
According to sources, the Congress has short-listed 30-40 Lok Sabha constituencies where all senior leaders from the state will be fielded to contest polls. The party is also trying to form an alliance with small regional parties, the source said. The source also revealed that the Congress is in touch with other party leaders like Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia (PSPL) chief Shivpal, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party chief Om Prakash Rajbhar, and Apna Dal leader Pallavi Patel. Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) president Ajit Singh is likely to join hands with the Congress.
On Sunday, Shivpal Yadav had said that the PSPL is ready to forge an alliance with the Congress in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha elections, although no talks have been held in connection with the same. “There have been no talks with the Congress party as yet. The Congress is also a secular party and if it approaches us to defeat the BJP, we will lend our support,” Yadav had said on Sunday.
Apart from holding rallies, Rahul will visit Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj for holy Snan (bath). However, the date is yet to be decided. The SP and the BSP recently announced that they would contest on 38 seats each, adding that they would not field candidates against Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli. They have also kept two seats for the smaller parties. Ousted from the alliance, the Congress announced that they would contest on all 80 Lok Sabha seats at stake in Uttar Pradesh with ‘full might,’ but did not rule out the possibility of joining hands with the secular forces in the state to defeat the BJP in the state.