The Congress plans to regain its lost foothold in the Vidharba region through Rahul’s visit.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is on a mission to revive the sagging fortunes of Congress party as he will visit five villages in Vidharba on April, 30 and highlight the issue of farmer suicides. The rally is seen by political analysts as an attempt to re-launch the Gandhi scion who was on a 56 days sabbatical from active politics. Rahul has already organised a Kisan rally at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi and criticised the Modi government for not doing enough for farmers who were affected due to unseasonal rains and crop failure. He also had delivered a fiery speech in Parliament and attacked the central government for being industry friendly and anti-farmer. The Modi government has been trying its best to pass the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill but it lacks numbers to clear the controversial legislation in Rajya Sabha. The Congress and opposition parties have united to block the bill in the upper house.
“This will be the beginning of Rahulji’s and our party’s pan-India movement against the present government’s absolute neglect towards the issue of farming distress in the country,” said Ashok Chavan, Congress MP and party’s Maharashtra unit chief.
Rahul will arrive in Nagpur on Wednesday night and will visit five villages in the Amaravati district of Vidarbha during his one-day visit on Thursday. Amaravati has recorded largest number of farmer suicides in 2015. Around 295 farmers ended their lives here, while 215 suicides were witnessed in Aurangabad of state’s Marathwada region.
Congress party, which has failed to open its account in the Lok Sabha poll and bagged mere nine seats in the Vidarbha region, plans to make Rahul’s visit a mega event to rejuvenate party organisation and thereby boost the rank and file.
As per his schedule, Mr. Gandhi will carry out a padyatra of 15 kilometres, visiting families of farmers and other villagers. “He will interact with the kins of those who committed suicide and talk to farmers,” said Mr. Chavan. He will be visiting villages namely Gunji, Shahapur, Ramgaon, Ranjana and Toglabar.
The Congress party wants Rahul to play a bigger role in the party as Sonia Gandhi is not in the best of the health.
“The decision about Rahul touring widely has already been taken and the details are being worked out between the All India Congress Committee and various Pradesh Congress Committees,” said a AICC functionary.
The Congress and NCP had earlier slammed the Mahrasthra government for stating that only three farmers had died due to hailstorm and unseasonal rains.
“The state Congress will agitate more aggressively against the apathy of the government about the farmers,” said Chavan.