After much criticism for not campaigning in Maharashtra and over his foreign trip ahead of assembly elections in Maharashtra, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is all set to address a rally in Mumbai’s Dharavi area this Sunday.
It will be his first campaign event in the State ahead of the October 21 elections. Mumbai Congress has that said Gandhi will address a rally at Dharavi here on Sunday evening. Mumbai Congress chief Eknath Gaikwad’s daughter and Congress secretary Varsha Gaikwad is seeking re-election for a fourth term from Dharavi. During Rahul Gandhi’s tenure as party chief, Varsha Gaikwad was AICC secretary for Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls.
Mumbai Congress chief Eknath Gaikwad told Hindustan Times, “We had requested Mr Gandhi to visit the city and state ahead of the elections. He will address a public gathering at Dharavi on Sunday, and in the coming week, he will visit several parts of Maharashtra, to urge citizens to vote for the Congress and its alliance partners.”
Dharavi is considered to be Asia’s largest slum cluster and the Congress has a strong presence in the area, with sitting MLA Varsha Gaikwad from the party. Eknath Gaikwad was a three-time MLA from Dharavi. So as Congress has strong presence in Dharavi, the party decided to garner more limelight rather holding rally anywhere else in the city where it is already losing its existence.
Congress is contesting 31 seats in Mumbai, leaving five for the ally NCP. In 2014, Congress had won only five seats in the metropolis. In Maharashtra, the Congress has 146 candidates in the fray, while the NCP has 117, with other seats for smaller parties such as Swabhimani Sangathana, Peasants and Workers Party, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), and Samajwadi Party.