Assembly Elections 2021: Priyanka and Rahul kick off Congress campaign in Assam, Tamil Nadu
After concluding his visits to Kerala and Puducherry, Rahul, at a rally in Kanyakumari, said that 'only a person who truly represents the Tamil people can be a chief minister of Tamil Nadu'
With Assembly polls in multiple states drawing closer and rumblings in the Congress ranks over leadership, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi kicked off campaigns in Tamil Nadu and Assam respectively.
After concluding his visits to Kerala and Puducherry, Rahul, at a rally in Kanyakumari, launched a scathing attack on the NDA for not "respecting Tamil language, culture and tradition".
“We have a chief minister here who submits to everything that Modi says. The chief minister represents what Modi wants to do but not the people of Tamil Nadu. This election will show the same thing that only a person who truly represents the Tamil people can be a chief minister of Tamil Nadu,” Rahul alleged.
All eyes are focussed on Rahul and Priyanka as the Opposition party continues to grapple with the issue of who will take up the mantle of its president.
Rahul, taking responsibility for the rout the party faced in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, had resigned from the post.
On the first day of his visit, Rahul was seen interacting and even dancing with schools students:
— ANI (@ANI) March 1, 2021
Videos of Rahul completing a push-up challenge given to him by a judo enthusiast went viral.
In a lighter vein, Shri @RahulGandhi takes part in a 'Push up challenge' by Merolin Shenigha, a 10th standard Judo enthusiast.❣️#TNwithRahulGandhi pic.twitter.com/qZIrCkk5nq — All India Mahila Congress (@MahilaCongress) March 1, 2021
One of the warmest welcomes ever! The staff at St. Joseph’s Matric Hr. Sec. School, Mulagumoodu, Kanyakumari greet Shri @RahulGandhi with a soul-stirring reception. Incredible visuals coming in from Tamil Nadu.#TNwithRahulGandhi pic.twitter.com/E0oYzETnDb — Congress (@INCIndia) March 1, 2021
Priyanka launches protest against unemployment in Assam
Meanwhile, on the first day of her two-day visit, Priyanka visited the Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati and participated in a traditional Jhumur dance with the tea tribes of Lakhimpur.
চাহ বাগানৰ যুৱক যুৱতী সকলৰ সৈতে আজি লক্ষীমপুৰত এনেদৰে ঝুমুৰ নৃত্যত অংশগ্ৰহণ কৰে নিখিল ভাৰত কংগ্ৰেছ কমিটিৰ সাধাৰণ সম্পাদিকা শ্ৰীমতী @priyankagandhi ডাঙৰীয়ানীয়ে#PriyankaGandhiWithAssam pic.twitter.com/5DSLggqd9X — Assam Congress (@INCAssam) March 1, 2021
Priyanka also visited Sonari gram panchayat and the birthplace of Srimanta Sankardeva's primary disciple Sri Madhavdev at Letekupukhuri before leaving for Gohpur in Bishwanath district. Priyanka then left for Lakhmipur where she launched a statewide unemployment protest, during which protests will be held across the state with demonstrations in front of government employment offices.
#Assam: After visiting the Kamakhya shrine, @priyankagandhi left for Lakhimpur where she is scheduled to visit Sonari gram panchayat and launch a protest programme of unemployed youths@INCAssam#AssamElections2021#EastStory #NorthEastIndia https://t.co/7zjQxHPn7I — EastMojo (@EastMojo) March 1, 2021
Priyanka was slated to offer homage at the statue of freedom fighter Kanaklata Barua, who was martyred in police firing while attempting to hoist the Indian flag during the Quit India movement in 1942.
Speaking at the event on Monday, Priyanka claimed that BJP leaders talk about implementing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in various parts of the country, but lack the courage to mention it in Assam.
The state witnessed violent protests against the CAA in 2019 and five persons lost their lives. The protestors saw the law as a threat to their cultural identity and livelihood.
The grand alliance of the Congress and six other parties will form the government in Assam after the election as people are fed up with the false promises made by the BJP, she said.
She was clad in a handwoven traditional Assamese 'mekhla chador', with designs typical of its Mising tribe.
"The BJP makes tall promises before elections but during the next five years, they do nothing to fulfil them and people have realised it," the Congress leader told reporters after addressing a meeting of party workers at Lakhimpur.
BJP leaders move around the country talking about implementing the CAA but they are silent about it when they come to Assam, Priyanka said.
"They lack the courage to mention it in the state and people of Assam should never allow them to even talk about it, let alone implement it," she said.
On Tuesday, Priyanka will visit Sadharu tea estate in Biswanath, where she will interact with women tea garden workers, before leaving for Tezpur in Sonitpur district. She is also scheduled to visit the Mahabhirav Temple and hold campaigns in parts of upper Assam, including Tezpur, where she will address a rally on 2 March.
Assembly elections will be held in Assam over three phases: 27 March, 1 and 6 April.
These visits come in the backdrop of the 'G-23' leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and Kapil Sibal, who have been pressing for a leadership change and organisational overhaul in the Congress, gathering on a stage in Jammu to say the party is weakening and they have come together to strengthen it.
In August 2020, the 23 leaders — including Kapil Sibal, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Manish Tewari, and Bhupinder Singh Hooda — wrote to Congress president Sonia Gandhi calling for "sweeping changes" in the party leadership.
The Election Commission announced on Friday the poll schedule for four states and one Union Territory, in which West Bengal will vote in eight phases, Assam in three, and Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry in one phase.
Voting will be held between 27 March and 29 April and results will be announced on 2 May.
With inputs from PTI
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