2nd day’s updates of Rahul Gandhi’s last leg of Gujarat campaigning

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi kick-started with his two-day campaign on Friday ahead of the first phase of the Gujarat assembly elections due on 9 Dec. On the first day of his two-day campaigning, Rahul met with the fishermen in Porbandar, the Dalits, teachers, and doctors.

As per today’s itinerary, the Congress leader is scheduled to visit various villages and towns on his journey covering Gandhinagar, Aravalli, Mahisagar, and Dahod districts. He will be addressing several public meetings today.

As per the schedule set for the Vice President of Congress, Rahul will begin the day by addressing a rally at Dahegam, Gandhinagar, following he will visit:

  • Bayad, Aravalli district
  • Sathamba, Aravalli district
  • Lunawada, Mahisagar district
  • Santrampur, Mahisagar district
  • Fatehpur, Dahod district
  • Jhalod, Dahod district
  • College Ground, Dahod

During his rallies and interactions yesterday, Rahul Gandhi promised to the fishermen that if voted to power, the Congress will form a separate ministry for the fisheries. He also criticised the BJP government in Gujarat for stopping the subsidy given to fishermen to buy diesel for their boats.

Pulling down on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for deliberately delaying the winter session of the Parliament in wake of Gujarat assembly polls. His remarks came a few hours after the announcement that the winter session will begin from 15 Dec, a day after the second phase of polling ends in Gujarat. Rahul alleged that the BJP government purposely delayed the session to avoid the Opposition’s questions ahead of crucial elections.

He accused that the BJP wanted to avoid answering on crucial issues like the alleged corruption charges on BJP national president Amit Shah’s son Jay, the Rafale deal and the Centre’s treatment of the Doka La standoff.

While addressing the gathering of Dalits in Sanand, Ahmedabad on Friday, Rahul said that “They have closed Parliament…every year Parliament opens in November, this year it will not open in November. You see, it is not going to open before elections. Why? Because they don’t want Jay Shah, Rafale deal, and Doka La issues to be discussed in Parliament before Gujarat elections.”

The Congress leader also accepted the Tricolour from the Dalits, which was made by 100 Dalit students in an attempt to spread the message to put an end to the practice of untouchability in India. This is the same flag that Gujarat Cheif Minister Vijay Rupani had not accepted citing that they did not have a place to keep the Tricolour.

Not missing the opportunity to take a dig at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, he said that he would have accepted the Tricolour even if it was a 50,000 km-long if he had a little place to keep it.

He also pulled down on the Prime Minister, saying that “Narendra Modi and Rupani have space in their hearts only for a few industrialists, but not Dalits, farmers and poor.”

Scathing the BJP leader for not accepting the flag, Rahul said that “This flag is not yours alone, but belongs to the entire country. He (Rupani) said he has no place to keep the flag. Even if you gave me a 15 km or 50,000 km-long flags, and even if I had one-inch space to keep it, I would have taken it. Like you, I have a huge space in my heart for this flag. It is the mindset of the BJP chief ministers or the prime minister that they have no space for this flag or your hard work. But they have the entire Gujarat for 5-10 industrialists, who can get any amount of space they want in Gujarat or across India.”

During his address, he also attacked the Modi government and the Prime Minister on the release of Hafiz Saaed.

On the first day of his tour the Congress leader also emotionally touched the hearts of many, when in the middle of the interactions with the Ahmedabad’s teaching community, Rahul went out and hugged a part-time woman lecturer after listening to her woos.

Questioning Rahul Gandhi on what the Congress will do for the teaching community if voted to power, Ranjana Avasthi, a Ph.D. holder almost choked, sharing her experience of past 22 years. She said that “Ever since I completed my Ph.D. in Sanskrit in 1994, we have been living in a miserable condition. Even after 22 years of service as a part-time lecturer, our salary is just Rs 12,000 per month. We were not even granted maternity leave. We have seen some of the worst days of our life during this service. Now, the government is planning to annul our entire service by offering us Rs 40,000 salary under a fixed-pay regime. Like others, we also wanted to retire with pension benefits to be able to live a respectable life. But now, there is no hope. Only we know what kind of struggle we did and what kind of pain we have gone through.

Listening to her plight, Rahul just said that some questions cannot be answered by mere words and he walked down the stage to Ranjana Avasthi and hugged the sobbing lecturer. He also promised the teaching fraternity that if the Congress comes to power, it will focus on building a robust public education and healthcare system in Gujarat.

Reacting to the emotional act of Rahul Gandhi, Congress spokesperson, Shaktisinh Gohil, appreciating the effort of the Congress leader tweeted that he was proud of him.

On the second day of his visit, Rahul visited the residence of former MP and AICC Secretary Mirza Irshad Baig ji, who passed away recently, to convey his condolences. He also visited MP and former AICC Gen. Secretary Madhusudan Mistry ji to convey his condolences on the untimely passing away of his son Parikshit Mistry.

Congress Vice-President is scheduled to address quite a few rallies today covering the north Gujarat districts today. This is the most probably the last campaigning ahead of the first phase of the Gujarat polls. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is the star campaigner of BJP, along with many other senior heavyweights from the party will be beginning the last leg of the BJP campaigning in Gujarat from 27 Nov.