Congress president Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary for Uttar Pradesh east Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will address three election rallies Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur, Shamli and Bijnor districts on Monday. The polling in these places is scheduled to take place in the first phase on April 11. Congress general secretary for western Uttar Pradesh Jyotiraditya Scindia will also accompany the Rahul-Priyanka duo to the rallies that are expected to be huge crowd pullers.
While the BJP has renominated sitting MP Raghav Lakhanpal to retain the seat, the Congress has also again fielded the 2014 runner-up Imran Masood. As for the mahagathbandhan of BSP-SP-RLD, the seat has been given to the BSP which has named Hazi Fazalur Rahman to take on the two national parties' candidates.
Earlier on April 4, both Rahul and Priyanka took out a massive roadshow in Kerala's Wayanad where Rahul had gone to file his nomination to contest the Lok Sabha polls apart from the traditional stronghold of Amethi.
On April 5, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the electorate in Saharanpur and Amroha Lok Sabha constituencies, becoming the first of the big leaders to stop by these constituencies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched an attack against Congress candidate Imran Masood at the rally.
Providing ammunition for the attack was an alleged threat made by the politician in 2014 that he would chop PM Modi into pieces. "Yahan toh boti boti karne wale sahab bhi hain (This was where that man said he will chop me into pieces). He is a favourite of the Congress prince. Do keep in mind that they are the ones who threaten while we are the ones who respect and protect your daughters," PM Modi had said at the rally aimed at garnering support for sitting BJP parliamentarian Raghav Lakhanpal.
The BJP had arranged for nearly 200 buses to bring thousands of people to the rally. "I liked what he said about daughters the most. He said that we will provide safety to girls, and provide them with education to ensure that they advance in life," said Aanchal Singhal, a 20-year-old college student who came to the rally with her family.