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Rahul Gandhi rallies Maharashtra support with poll blitz in Vidarbha this week

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign rally for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections on Monday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi will hold three rallies in various parts of Vidarbha this week. On Thursday, he will address a rally in Nagpur and two rallies in Chandrapur and Wardha the next day. He will interact with college students in Pune on Friday morning.

Seven Lok Sabha constituencies from Vidarbha are going to polls on April 11. Rahul Gandhi’s first rally will be for party candidate Nana Patole, who is facing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and union transport minister Nitin Gadkari in Nagpur constituency. “He will interact with youngsters in Pune on Friday on the various issues the country is facing today,” said Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan.

After the interaction, expected to be at Bharati Vidyapeeth, headed by party MLA Vishwajeet Kadam, Gandhi will hold two more rallies in Vidarbha. He will address a rally in Chandrapur in the afternoon and then in Wardha in the evening. Suresh Dhanorkar, a Shiv Sena legislator who defected to the Congress, is the party’s Chandrapur candidate.

State women’s wing chief Charulata Tokas is the party’s Wardha candidate. According to party sources, after the Nagpur rally on Thursday, Gandhi will hold meetings with party workers in Pune in the night and fly to Vidarbha again the next day.

Meanwhile, the party announced its candidates for Pune and Raver constituencies. Former party legislator Mohan Joshi has been fielded against BJP leader and state minister Girish Bapat. Maratha leader Pravin Gaikwad, who joined the party two days ago, was the likely candidate for the party, but the party chose not to field him as he could have been a polarising candidate owing to the caste factor. Besides, his remarks against the party leadership reportedly went against him. The Congress has fielded former MP Ulhas Patil as its candidate from Raver, which was contested by the NCP in the 2014 elections. After NCP conceded its seat to the ally Congress, the seat-sharing formula between the two parties has become 27-21 (Congress-NCP). Both the parties have given two seats each to the smaller parties in the alliance.

First Published:
Apr 03, 2019 06:34 IST

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