Uttar Pradesh polls: Eye on farmers, Congress flags off ‘Rahul Ka Sandesh Yatra’

While party UP in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad symbolically flagged off the yatra in the presence of state president Raj Babbar, it will actually start on October 13.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow | Published:October 8, 2016 4:43 am
ghulam-nabi-azad-759 Ghulam Nabi Azad and Raj Babbar in Lucknow on Friday. Vishal Srivastav photo

A DAY after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s Kisan Yatra ended, the party on Friday symbolically flagged off ‘Rahul Ka Sandesh Yatra’ from Lucknow, which is set to traverse every Assembly segment in UP.

While party UP in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad symbolically flagged off the yatra in the presence of state president Raj Babbar, it will actually start on October 13. The yatra will convey one broad message — “Congress, which waived Rs 73,000-crore loans of farmers in 2008, has now declared it will waive loans of farmers, reduce electricity charges to half and ensure better support price for crops”.

As many as 17 mini-raths have been prepared for the 15-day yatra. Bearing pictures of Rahul and the party’s CM candidate Sheila Dikshit, the mini-raths will cover 403 Assembly constituencies. While district and city heads have been asked to lead the raths to the wards and panchayats, AICC will appoint observers to monitor their activities.

In a meeting with district and city heads, Azad said one observer — either a former MP or MLA from other states — would be appointed for each area. Former MLAs, prominent leaders, zonal heads and AICC secretaries have also been asked to be part of the yatra.

Azad further asked district heads to camp in each Assembly segment for at least two days. “The number of days will depend on the number of constituencies in our districts. For example, if a district has three constituencies, leaders will camp there for five days,” said a district president.

Another leader said Azad has clarified that the focus of the yatra would be farmers. Local leaders have been asked to speak on issues such as “Rs 50,000-crore loan on farmers in UP; power tariff up by over 50 per cent in two years; Modi government increasing support price for crop by only 4 to 5 per cent; pulses out of reach of the poor; reduction in MGNREGA budget; and dues of labourers worth Rs 15,000 crore pending”.

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