Congress hopes for rejuvenation in Bengal with Rahul's visit



 Admitting that it was on a "weak wicket" in West Bengal, the Congress state unit is hoping for rejuvenation when party vice president Rahul Gandhi visits the state on Saturday.

During the visit, Gandhi will address jute mill workers at the Wellington jute mill ground at Rishra in Hooghly district. He will then head to the Kolkata Port Trust guest house and meet home buyers.

Later in the day, he will address party workers at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.

"Rahul Gandhi's visit is very important for the party workers especially at a time when their morale has suffered due to the terror tactics and politics of violence by the ruling Trinamool Congress," party's state unit president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told IANS.

"I have no qualms in admitting that we are on a weak wicket in Bengal and it's party workers who can pull us out. The news of Gandhi's visit has already cheered them up and interacting with him will galvanise them," said Chowdhury.

Regarding the meet with home buyers, Chowdhury said Gandhi was working on building a consensus against the "pro-realtor' Real Estate Bill.

"Gandhi has been vocal against the NDA government's real estate bill which is pro-realtor. He earlier met home buyers in Delhi and the meeting here is to build a consensus against this bill which will badly affect the middle class," added Chowdhury.

On the absence of a public rally in Gandhi's itinerary, Chowdhury said: "Right now our focus is to galvanise party workers. This is not the only time he is visiting the state. With the assembly polls not very far, he would be frequently visiting Bengal and hold public meets and rallies."

Congress MP and former state president Pradip Bhattacharya too said Gandhi's visit was imperative for the party workers in the state as well as jute mill workers.

"Because of the policies of the Trinamool the jute industry in Bengal is on the verge of collapse. More than a dozen mills have closed down and several thousand workers rendered jobless. Rahul Gandhi would interact with over 200 such workers in his bid to address the issue," said Bhattacharya.

"With the state assembly polls not very far away, his visit assumes extreme significance for the party. The party is confident that his visit will galvanize our workers who have been at the receiving end of Trinamool's violence." - IANS