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Rahul Gandhi to embark on ‘mission south’ this weekend

IANS | New Delhi |

Amid BJP's efforts to set up a strong base in southern states, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi will be visiting Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh this weekend to strengthen the opposition's campaign against the central government.

Gandhi will be addressing a rally at Sangareddy, near Hyderabad on June 1, according to party sources.

On June 3, he will be attending the birthday celebrations of DMK President M Karunanidhi, which will also be attended by other national leaders like Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, RJD chief Lalu Prasad, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, Ttinamool Congress parliamentary party chief Sudip Bandhopadhyay, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI MP D. Raja and Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy.

After all the major opposition parties, led by Congress, came together last week on a common platform, this is going to be a second opposition rendezvous.

On June 4, Gandhi will address a joint-rally in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, along with Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav and leaders of the left parties. This rally would be attended by leaders of seven to eight opposition parties, the sources said.

Major opposition parties came together last week on a common platform and decided to contest the upcoming presidential election if the government does not announce a consensus candidate.

The luncheon meeting convened by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, brought together leaders of mutually antagonistic outfits in states, like the leftists with Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, and BSP chief Mayawati face to face with Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav.