Eyeing the support of the influential Patel community, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today hit the campaign trail in the Patidar-dominated areas of poll-bound Gujarat.
Some members of the National Students Union of India (NSUI), the party’s student wing, greeted him as he left Jamnagar for Rajkot this morning.
The Congress leader urged the NSUI members to work hard to bring the party to power in Gujarat.
Taking a dig at BJP governments in the state and at the Centre, Gandhi said if the Congress was voted to power, his party’s government would function from Gujarat and not on orders from Delhi.
On his way, at Falla village in Jamnagar, locals welcomed him by raising the slogan ‘Jai Patidar, Jai Sardar’.
People were also seen wearing caps with the same slogan.
Gandhi, who is on the second day of his three-day tour of Gujarat, is slated to visit several villages and towns, such as Dhrol and Tankara that have a sizable Patel population.
The Congress is hoping to get the support of this decisive vote bank during the polls due later this year.
Yesterday, on the first day of his visit to the state, Gandhi was greeted by Hardik Patel, leader of the Patel quota agitation.
“A warm welcome to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat,” Patel tweeted in Hindi yesterday when Gandhi landed at Dwarka.
Patel had earlier hinted that he may consider supporting the Congress in the Assembly polls to achieve the goal of reservation to the Patel community under OBC quota.
Gandhi had attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over issues like note ban, GST, farm policies and ‘Gujarat model’ of development, during his campaign from Dwarka to Jamnagar yesterday.
He also expressed confidence about winning the upcoming Assembly elections, claiming that there was a strong undercurrent in favour of the Congress in Gujarat and the people regretted having voted for the BJP.