Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi arrived in Gujarat on Saturday on a three-day visit, his fourth in a row to the poll-bound state. This time he is visiting the stronghold of the BJP, in north Gujarat.
Gandhi is expected to attack the ruling BJP, both in the state as well as the Centre, on various fronts like the Goods and Services Tax, demonetisation, unemployment, Patidars, farmer distress and price rise et al.
As the state gears up for the state assembly elections on December 9 and 14, political bigwigs have made Gujarat their second home and the Gandhi scion is no exception.
In the last two months, not just Gandhi, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national chief Amit Shah have been to the state several times.
Gandhi arrived at the Ahmedabad airport on Saturday morning. Then in a completely unplanned move, he headed to the Akshardham Temple here. After ’tilak’ and ‘darshan’ he set out for the Chiloda village, adjoining the state capital.
Gandhi during his recent visits has made it a point to visit most of the pilgrim places and famous temples.
He will later visit Chala and Majra chokdi, both in Gandhinagar district.
From there he will head to Prantij and Himmatnagar before going to Idar, a tribal region. In Himmatnagar, Gandhi will be addressing a farmers gathering.
In the afternoon he will be visiting the Khedbrahmma region, as well as visit the famous Ambaji temple. In Idar, as well as in Vadali, he will have corner meetings, similar to the ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ type.
His night halt will be in Ambaji town. Before his Ambaji temple ‘darshan’, he will address a public meeting on the rights of tribals at Khedbrahmma.
Gandhi’s frequent visits have sprung quite a surprise in political circles, and have been unprecedented.
Political pundits opine that as far as Congress leaders, especially from the 10, Janpath in Delhi are concerned, visits to the state have always been for a single day.
Until now, they were mostly characterised by a single public meeting in some remote tribal region. But this is probably for the first time that three-day visits have been planned and executed in Gujarat and that too, in urban areas as well.
On Sunday, Gandhi will have an interaction with the social media and IT teams of the party followed by his visits Danta and Jalotra and a public meeting at Palanpur in Banaskantha district.
In Deesa, Gandhi will once again address small gatherings of youth and talk about Yuva Rojgar.
On Sunday he will be visiting and having ‘darshan’ of two temples, one at Thara and the other Totana. He will also address a public meeting at the Thara ground.
Late on Sunday evening he will arrive at former Chief Minister Anandiben Patel’s bastion, Patan, and address a public meeting. He will make a night halt at Patan Circuit House.
On Monday, Gandhi will meet Dalit leaders in the morning after his ‘darshan’ to Patan’s Vir Megh Maya Temple.
After that he will be visiting four villages in the area and once again have a small gathering and discussion (Chopal-style) with the nomadic tribe communities.
On the last day of his three-day sojourn, Gandhi will have a ‘darshan’ in three temples. First in Varana, where he will also address a public meeting, then in Shankheshwar temple and later in Becharaji, where he will also address the ‘Rojgar Adhikar Sabha’.
Gandhi will arrive in the Mehsana constituency of Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, where he will address women at ‘Mahila Adhikar Sabha’.
He will end the visit on Monday with small corner meetings in Visnagar, the place from where the Patidar reservation stir initiated. He will then leave for Delhi.