UP yatra of the Congress aimed at weaning away BSP's Dalit vote bank
Sunday, March 21, 2010 9:56 IST
New Delhi: The Congress' 'Mission 2012' in Uttar Pradesh is set to
roll from April 14 when Rahul Gandhi will flag off a 'rath yatra' to
consolidate gains made by the party in the Lok Sabha elections last
year and make it a serious contender for power in the coming assembly
The party general secretary and Amethi MP, credited for scripting the
party's success story in the key state, will flag off the yatra on the
birth anniversary of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar, with an aim to wean away
the core Dalit vote bank of Mayawati-led BSP.
Gandhi has been visiting Dalit households in UP for the last several
months and his efforts had led to the party bagging 22 of 80 seats in
the state in 2009 Lok Sabha polls, its best ever performance in the
last two decades.
"Rahul Gandhi will flag off the yatra on April 14 at Ambedkar Nagar,"
AICC general secretary in-charge of UP, Digvijay Singh, said.
The first phase of the yatra would begin on April 14 and end on May 31
and the second phase will begin after the monsoons from September 15
and conclude on November 10 with a rally of party president Sonia
Gandhi at Allahabad, he added.
Singh said the yatra will highlight achievements of the UPA government
and also that of Congress in its journey of 125 years.
Party leaders said the yatra also aims to expose "anti-Dalit policies"
of the Mayawati government and her "ill-acquired" wealth over the
years and her "devil may care" attitude towards the Dalits, her
primary vote bank. The Congress' strategy includes 10 different 'rath
yatras' in every nook and corner of the state to cover all assembly
constituencies and blocks.
Singh said the party leaders would use the yatra to tell the people of
UP how Mayawati had become "daulat ki beti and not a Dalit ki beti"
(daughter of wealth, not Dalit). He said the party was compiling the
list of assets she acquired after coming into politics.
Gandhi, known for visiting college campuses and mingling with
students, will also visit Shibli National College in Azamgarh in the
next academic session to interact with the students there.
Azamgarh has been in news after several youths from the city and
nearby areas were charged in over 50 terror related cases in six
cities across the country.
"He (Rahul Gandhi) will be visiting there in the next academic
session. The date has not yet been finalised but he will go there,"
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