Ahmedabad: With rumours of early state elections in Gujarat already doing the rounds at least one party seems to be taking it seriously. The opposition Congress is officially kickstarting its campaign with a rally by its party vice-president Rahul Gandhi in the politically important Mehsana district of North Gujarat on Wednesday.
The elections in the state are scheduled to be held next year end.
It was a couple of months ago that Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose to address the farmers at Deesa in the district after inaugurating a dairy farm.
In all likelihood, the Congress is trying to give clear indications that it is ready to take on Modi's charisma on his home turf by strategically organising a rally in Mehsana and also reaching out to the farming and the Patidar communities.
Buoyed by the results of the recently held local elections, which worked in the favour of the party, now the party wants to hold on to its recently found grip on the ground. The Congress has been in the opposition in the state for more than two decades.
Gandhi's rally on Wednesday in Mehsana is a signal that the party wants to cash in on the absence of youth icon Hardik Patel who had spearheaded the Patidar agitation last year. The support for the agitation was primarily from the Patels of Mehsana.
In a pre-Modi era, north Gujarat had been a stronghold of the Congress, and in a post-Modi Gujarat when the BJP is not at its best, Congress hopes to make an impression before Patel enters into the political boundaries of the state next year.
The BJP since 2014 has seen two chief ministers and the party is still not sure whether it should start showcasing the work of the present Chief Minister Vijay Rupani or harp upon the work of former chief minister Modi. In a situation as this, the Congress hopes frequent rallies by its leaders in rural areas will help it to find the long lost feet.
Updated Date: Dec 20, 2016 22:54:59 IST