Mumbai Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Success Of Rahul Gandhi's Rally Boosts Congress Morale Despite Defections

Mumbai Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Success Of Rahul Gandhi's Rally Boosts Congress Morale Despite Defections

The party cadres were in a despondent mood after the defection of senior leader and former chief minister Ashok Chavan to the BJP, ex-Union minister Milind Deora to the Shiv Sena and several others to the NCP led by Ajit Pawar.

S BalakrishnanUpdated: Monday, March 18, 2024, 08:29 PM IST
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Rahul Gandhi addressing rally at Shivaji Park in Mumbai. |

Mumbai: The success of Sunday's rally at Shivaji Park, where Rahul Gandhi was the main speaker, appears to have boosted the morale of the Congress in a big way. The party cadres were in a despondent mood after the defection of senior leader and former chief minister Ashok Chavan to the BJP, ex-Union minister Milind Deora to the Shiv Sena and several others to the NCP led by Ajit Pawar.

However, the good public response to the rally and also to the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra of Gandhi, which wended its way from Nandurbar, Dhule, Malegaon, Bhiwandi, Thane and Mumbai, has given a much-needed boost to the confidence of the party cadres. Said Atul Londe, MPCC spokesperson: "The success of both the yatra and the rally is proof that the Congress still commands the support of the masses."

Even though the rally witnessed the presence of activists of the Shiv Sena (UBT), NCP (Sharad Pawar) and other members of the INDIA alliance, the bulk of the audience comprised of Congress supporters.

Leaders of several parties, including the Shiv Sena (UBT), NCP (Pawar Sr), DMK, RJD, National Conference and the Vanchit Aghadi, were on the stage and effectively endorsed the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.

Londe said Gandhi's promise of total waiver of farm loans and guaranteed MSP was a game-changer which will yield result in good support from farmers.

He said the Congress governments in Karnataka and Telangana are already fulfilling the pre-poll promises made to the people in those states. The Congress would do likewise at the national level if it comes to power at the Centre, he added.

Sources said the Congress was looking at 18 to 19 constituencies and plans to focus all its attention on winning in these seats with a good margin. The outcome of the seat-sharing talks between the MVA constituents is likely to be known on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the BJP has slammed Uddhav Thackeray for sharing the dais with Rahul Gandhi. City BJP president Ashish Shelar alleged that Uddhav has insulted the legacy of the late Balasaheb Thackeray by addressing a joint meeting with Rahul Gandhi, "who is known for his hatred" towards Hindutva icon Veer Savarkar.

He said while the late Balasaheb was an ardent devotee of Veer Savarkar, his son, Uddhav, rubbed shoulders with those who have spoken disparagingly about the Hindutva icon and even questioned the latter's patriotism.

State BJP president Chandrashekar Bawankule also slammed the Shiv Sena (UBT) for allegedly damaging the sanctity of the iconic Shivaji Park by joining hands with the Congress, which had no respect for Veer Savarkar.

He also noted that except for Uddhav himself, none of the other leaders even referred to the late Balasaheb Thackeray in their speeches. Mr Bawankule claimed that many people left the venue even before the rally could conclude.

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