Rahul kicks off campaign in Wardha, Nanded today

Written by Political Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Apr 1 2009, 04:11am hrs
The scion of Gandhi family, Rahul Gandhi to kickstart party's campaign in Wardha and Nanded on March 31. Vardha houses the Mahatma Gandhi's ashram while Nanded is the hometown of chief minister Ashok Chavan. The timing of Rahul's meeting is crucial when his cousin and BJP's new posterboy Varun Gandhi is languishing in the Pilibhit jail.

FE had reported first that Maharashtra unit of the Congress party has sought six meetings each of the Congress president Sonia Gandhi and its youth leader Rahul Gandhi in the state.

Congress party office bearer told FE Wardha has been chosen with a purpose. While another Gandhi is arrested for his outburst against muslims, here is Rahul Gandhi who has been touring extensively across the country making a strong pitch for bhai chara and welfare of all. Besides, the party is hopeful to snatch the Wardha seat from the BJP as the party has nominated Datta Meghe who recently deserted NCP to rejoin the Congress.

Moreover, Nanded has also been selected in the first leg of Rahuls election tour as Nanded had been a traditional bastion of the Congress.

However, since 1990 the saffron Shiv Sena and BJP alliance has made sufficient inroads and captured assembly and Lok Sabha seats. However, chief minister Ashok Chavan has been quite active in the revival of the Congress party and last year succeeded in the rout of the saffron alliance in the Nanded civic body. Further, Chavan was instrumental in the successful organisation of Guru ta gaddi function in Nanded which was attended by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Congress has nominated Chavan's brother in law and the party legislator Bhaskarrao Khatgaonkar from Nanded against Sambhaji Pawar of BJP.