Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who has been staying away from campaigning during elections because of health issues, will address election rallies in Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly polls, sources said. According to sources, the grand old party will release the complete schedule in next week.
Gandhi was last seen addressing a rally on May 8, 2018, at Bijapur in Karnataka, that too after a gap of nearly two years. Sources claim that people of Haryana and Maharastra feal that party will be benefited by her rallies as she has a strong connect with the people of these two states.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission announced the dates for Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly polls. According to the Election Commission, the states of Maharashtra and Haryana will go to polls on October 21. The counting of the votes will take place on October 24. Haryana has 1.82 crore registered voters and Maharashtra has 8.94 crore voters, the EC said.
Soon after the Election Commission announced the election schedule in Maharashtra and Haryana, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera welcomed it and said the party is completely ready to contest the polls.
He said the people in Jharkhand were also looking forward to polls in their state. "But when polls in three states cannot be held simultaneously, the government talks about One Nation, One Poll," he said.
Khera said the Congress will raise "pro-people" issues that the governments in Maharashtra and Haryana are trying to deviate from.
"Lakhs of sugarcane farmers are sitting on Delhi's border to demand their dues. What about them," he asked, referring to farmers from Uttar Pradesh who were on their way to Kisan Ghat in Delhi, demanding sugarcane dues, loan waivers, and cheap electricity.
Khera said the Congress will also raise the issue of loss of 15 lakh jobs and Rs 20 lakh crore in the stock market in the last three months.
"We will also ask that on one hand, you have held a former union minister (Chidambaram) in custody while you are protecting your former minister," he said, in an apparent reference to allegations of rape levelled against BJP leader Chinmayanand.
Khera said the issue of suicide by farmers has become very serious in Maharashtra.
"The issue has become so serious that the people of Maharashtra are looking forward to remove this government," he claimed.
He said in Haryana, the Congress will raise the issues of disruption of law and order and rise in corruption.
Answering a question, Khera took a swipe at the 'Howdy! Modi' event in Houston, US.
"Fifteen lakh people who lost their jobs and farmers sitting at Delhi's border want him (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) to respond to them but he will go to Houston and tell the people there 'Howdy Modi'. It is the people of India that have elected him, not the US," he added.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, in a video, said the people of Haryana and Maharashtra are looking forward to remove the BJP government.
"Congress will win in both these two states. The BJP government is now recognised by slowdown and lockdown. The current government is a capitalist government that has been made by capitalists and run by capitalists. People have decided to defeat this government and they will get a befitting reply to it in the upcoming elections," Surjewala said.
With PTI Inputs