Ahmedabad/New Delhi: The Congress will sound the Lok Sabha poll bugle from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat with its working committee meeting in Ahmedabad on Tuesday, coinciding with the 89th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi March launched on March 12, 1930.
Apart from firming up its poll strategy at the CWC meeting for the April 11 to May 19 electoral battle, the Congress has also scheduled party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s debut public rally, after she formally entered politics, at Gandhi Nagar.
The Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision-making body of the party, is expected to discuss highlights of the campaign and issue a statement covering key poll issues, sources said.
The meeting will mark the official commencement of Congress campaign for the month-long general elections as it comes barely two days after declaration of poll schedule for the general elections.
The party will also demand answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP on what they call “failures” and “unfulfilled” promises of the government, sources said.
The CWC meeting is being held in Gujarat after a gap of 58 years. It was last held in the state at Bhavnagar in 1961. Top Congress leaders, led by Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and other senior leaders will deliberate on issues, including the minimum income guarantee scheme which has been mooted by Mr Gandhi. The scheme would be one of the highlights of the party’s manifesto, a Congress leader said.
Sources said the Congress is seeking to send a strong political message to the entire nation from the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel, with the party leadership scheduled to hold a prayer meeting at Sabarmati Gandhi
Ashram in Ahmedabad, followed by the CWC meet at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel national memorial there.
The party will also hold a public meeting in Adalaj in Gandhinagar district of with the slogan of “Jai jawan, jai kisan”. Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is also likely to address this meeting in her first public rally after entering politics.
Patidar leader Hardik Patel, who shot to fame by spearheading a quota stir in the state and is set to fight the Lok Sabha polls, will also join Congress at the meeting in presence of Rahul Gandhi.
The Gujarat meeting of the CWC is also aimed at discussing ways to corner Mr Modi and his government on issues of governance, agrarian and economic crisis, unemployment, national security and women safety.
The Congress is of the view that the narrative for the general elections needs to be steered towards real issues and problems confronting people of the country, from what its leaders see as the “propaganda” plank of the current regime, especially after Pulwama attack and subsequent air strike on terror camps in Pakistan.
After the CWC meeting, senior Congress leaders will attend a “Jan Sankalp” rally, said state party unit chief Amit Chavda.
They will start their day by paying tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on the anniversary of the launch of the Dandi March, he said.