Amid infighting in state Congress unit, AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi will kick off his party’s campaign in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh with a rally at the historic Paddal Maidan in Mandi on Saturday. The rally is being held in the backdrop of an intense battle of one-upmanship between Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and PCC president Sukhwinder Sukhu, both of whom will share stage tomorrow after months of public acrimony.
On its part, the party’s central leadership has been walking a tightrope, avoiding to take sides. PCC president set the tone for the rally, saying “Rahul Gandhi is coming to launch party’s poll campaign and give a new energy to the workers for Mission Repeat. Our efforts will be to highlight the development done by the government during the last five years. What had BJP done after winning all four Lok Sabha seats? Even institutions like AIIMS, three medical colleges, ESI hospital, IIM, IIIT and central university were cleared by the the UPA.”
“The rally is bound to give a headstart to the party in the polls. But more important will be the role which Virbhadra Singh gets to take on the BJP for its falsehood and failure of the Modi government on most fronts including prices, GST, unemployment and demonetisation scam,” said Asha Kumari, Dalhousie MLA and AICC in-charge for Punjab.