Congress charts strategy for Uttar Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi to address 15 rallies across state

After being sidelined by Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress party is set to unite and coordinate secular forces in the state for the 2019 General Elections.

Congress party may tie up with Shivpal Yadav in the run up to the election. The only roadblock, however, may be Yadav’s demand for a share of 15 seats.

The Congress high command is also in touch with the Apna Dal and Ajit Singh’s RLD.

Party president Rahul Gandhi will address 15 rallies across the state, month of February, the main focus of all the rallies will be farmers’ issue.

The party has even started its homework on the ground and Rahul Gandhi will look to corner the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre on issues, such as agragrian crisis and farmers’ distress.

The party is also expected to outline loan waivers given by Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Rajasthan to attract the farmers in party’s favour.

As per sources, the party will kickstart the campaign with a rally from Hapur district of western Uttar Pradesh followed by rallies in Moradabad, Saharanpur and Bareilly.

Earlier on Saturday, hours after Akhilesh and Mayawati announced that Congress will not be part of the alliance in UP, Rahul Gandhi said the two parties had taken a political decision and the party would fight with full capacity in the state.

“They have made a political decision. It is on us how to strengthen the Congress party in Uttar Pradesh. We will fight with our full capacity,” said Rahul Gandhi, who was in Dubai at the time of the announcement.

Senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, PCC president Raj Babbar and other senior leaders held meetings in New Delhi on Friday and Saturday where they have finalised the road map for western UP. Another meeting will be held on Sunday to formulate rally plans for central and eastern UP.

Sources also say the party is working out on the possible candidates and is planning to field big faces in the poll battle.

The Rahul Gandhi-led Congress party scored morale-boosting victories in the Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan in the recently concluded assembly elections, underscoring its relevance as the country’s main opposition force. Congress had won 22 seats in 2009 when it contested alone.