Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s three-day visit to Uttar Pradesh began on Wednesday. Rahul has reached his parliamentary constituency Amethi, for the first time since the Congress Party suffered a major defeat in the Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections around six months ago. During his Uttar Pradesh visit, Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to hold ‘chaupals’ with farmers, meetings with locals as well as party workers.
The Amethi district administration, on September 30, had requested Rahul Gandhi to change the date of his visit. Stating that police personnel were already employed to maintain law and order during Durga Puja and Muharram, the administration had expressed difficulty in providing security for him. However, the dates of the visit were not changed as the authorities gave a go-ahead on Tuesday.
Rahul Gandhi’s Uttar Pradesh visit highlights:
5:49 pm: Rahul Gandhi said, “If PM Modi cannot address main issues concerning farmers and youth, he should say so. Congress will come and do it
in six months.”
5: 40 pm: “PM Modi had said NREGA is useless. After some months he understood that and then himself said that this scheme is useful (Unhone (PM) kaha NREGA bilkul bekar chiz hai. Kuch mahine baad baat samajh aayi aur wahi PM kehte hain ki iss yojna mein fayda hai)”, said Rahul Gandhi.
5:13 pm: PM Narendra Modi should stop wasting time of the countrymen and start giving employment to youth as promised, said Rahul Gandhi
5:12 pm: Rahul Gandhi said that six national highways have been built under the Congress government in Amethi.
5:05 pm: They have not understood the Goods and Services Tax (GST), our GST was capped at 18 per cent.
5:04 pm: Rahul Gandhi attacked BJP and RSS.
5:03 pm: Rahul Gandhi has reached Amethi and is addressing the rally.
11.30 am: AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi will also visit Himachal Pradesh on October 7 and will address a rally at Mandi’s Paddal ground, according to AICC general secretary Sushil Kumar Shinde.
10.45 am: The Congress vice-president concluded his three-day roadshow to poll-bound Gujarat last week. During the visit, Gandhi held rallies and interacted with people. His visit to temples in the state became a talking point. UP CM Yogi Adityanath took a dig at Gandhi’s temple visits, saying, “His (Gandhi’s) visits to temples will make no difference. He is a bad omen for the Congress.”
10.15 am: Rahul Gandhi is soon expected to assume the position of the party president, replacing his mother, Sonia Gandhi. Elections for the party president’s post are scheduled to take place by the end of this month, where Rahul is expected to be elected to the post. According to reports, the Central Election Authority of Congress has decided to begin the process for the election by October 10.
9.40 am: On October 5, the Congress leader will interact with the public at the Munshiganj guesthouse and later meet party workers at Rajiv Gandhi Degree College in Amethi. He will also visit several areas in Salon Vidhan Sabha constituency, after which he will travel to Rae Bareli. There, he will stay the night at the Bhuvemau guesthouse.
9.15 am: Later on, the district administration said that their “intention was misunderstood”. Yogesh Kumar, District Magistrate, Amethi, told The Indian Express, “We have been informed about his (Rahul’s) three-day visit and will provide him security. First of all, security was never denied to him. The district administration can never deny security to a Member of Parliament. We had just requested him to shift his visit because of ongoing festive season and deployment of police force elsewhere. Police force has also come from adjoining districts for Durga visarjan and other arrangements.”
9.00 am: In response to the letter, senior UP Congress leader Akhilesh Singh accused the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in the state of “using tactics” to stop Gandhi from visiting his Lok Sabha constituency. “The Uttar Pradesh government is worried and does not want Rahul to visit Amethi, fearing that he might raise issues directly related to the public. This scares the BJP,” he said. Singh said the Yogi government was perhaps worried that Gandhi’s schedule might “eclipse” the proposed visit by BJP chief Amit Shah and Union ministers Smriti Irani and Nitin Gadkari to Amethi on October 10.
8.45 am: Ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s visit, the Amethi district authorities requested him to change his tour dates. “In order to maintain law-and-order, a majority of the district police force will be on duty. Hence, there will be great inconvenience in maintaining peace. Therefore, it is requested that the tour be re-scheduled on any date after October 5,” a letter written by the Amethi administration to the district Congress chief said. The letter was signed by District Magistrate Yogesh Kumar and Superintendent of Police Poonam.
8.30 am: Informing about Gandhi’s schedule, his representative Chandrakant Dubey said, “On October 4, he will hold chaupal in Kathora village of Jagdishpur area in Amethi and will also visit different villages of his constituency.” Gandhi is expected to listen to farmers’ grievances at the ‘chaupal’. Kathora is the same village for which the Congress vice-president had visited the office of the National Highway Authority of India in Lucknow, two months ago. Farmers of the village, who also accompanied him, alleged discrepancies in compensation given to them in exchange for the land being acquired for a road project.
8.15 am: Rahul Gandhi is expected to fly down to Lucknow and leave for Amethi by road. He will be stopping at various villages to meet and interact with people. He is expected to stay the night at Munshiganj guest house.