Rahul to up ante against Modi in his Bengal visit

Chanchol (West Bengal)


Congress President Rahul Gandhi is likely to give a big push to his party's Lok Sabha campaign when he addresses his first-ever public rally in this small census town of Malda district in West Bengal on Saturday.

He is expected to up his ante against the "corruption and misgovernance" of the Narendra Modi regime at the Centre and speak about the necessity of a Congress-led government in the country, party sources said.

Gandhi, who is coming to Bengal for the first time in 2019, will address what the party expects to be a large gathering at Kolom Bagan ground. The area comes under Malda North Lok Sabha constituency, a traditional Congress bastion.

He is expected to reach the rally ground at around 3 p.m. 

All the senior Congress leaders, including the party's state president Somen Mitra and former state chief Adhir Chowdhury are expected to be present.

"In the run up to the Lok Sabha elections, the entire focus of Congress and Gandhi has been on urging people to fight against the incompetence, corruption and misgovernance of the Narendra Modi regime. 

"So the prime focus of the Congress president's address tomorrow (Saturday) would be on the need and necessity of a Congress-led alternative government at the Centre," state Congress vice president Om Prakash Misra told IANS.

"As Malda is a long standing Congress bastion, it would be natural for him to focus on the strength of Congress ideology and the need to further bolster it in view of the challenges to the idea of India and challenges to the constitutional democracy of the country," he said.

The Congress has fielded party MLA Isha Khan Chowdhury from the Malda North Lok Sabha seat, against cousin and sitting MP Mausam Benazir Noor, who defected to the Trinamool Congress in February.

Referring to Noor's decision to desert the party, Misra said, "In the context to the place he (Gandhi) is visiting tomorrow, we expect the party president to also talk about principled politics which the Congress champions while the Trinamool Congress is just doing the opposite."

Another state Congress leader said Gandhi will also talk about the condition of healthcare, joblessness, migration of students due to lack of opportunities and labour problems under the Mamata Banerjee regime in West Bengal.

He said the last minute preparations for the rally are in full swing.

"The activists and people across Malda are very excited as Rahul Gandhi is coming to Chanchal for the first time. We are expecting a massive turnout," he said.

"Initially the administration was not cooperating with us in terms of giving permission for the rally ground or usage of loud speakers. However, there is no hindrance since the Election Commission gave its nod. All our state leaders are expected to be present," he added.-IANS