The Congress will launch two simultaneous yatras criss-crossing poll-bound Uttar Pradesh and covering 33 districts on August 21, marking resumption of its election campaign that began with a bus yatra from Delhi to Kanpur last month.
While one group will be headed by Congress’ chief ministerial candidate Sheila Dikshit, the other will have state Congress president Raj Babbar in the lead. This phase of the campaign will culminate on October 9.
Prominent leaders from the state like Sanjay Singh, chairman of the campaign committee, Abdul Mannan Ansari, vice chairman of the coordination committee, Bhagwati Prasad Chaudhary, chairman of the SC/ST Cell of UP Congress, former PCC chiefs Sriprakash Jaiswal and Rita Bahuguna Joshi and former MP Zafar Ali Naqvi will be part of the cavalcade headed by Dikshit.
Babbar will be accompanied by Pramod Tiwari, chairman of the coordination committee, P.L. Punia, chairman of the SC/ST Commission, Raja Ram Pal, senior vice president of UP Congress, former PCC chief Salman Khurshid, ex-MP Santosh Singh and senior party leaders Ram Aashrey Prasad and Lal Chand Nishad.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is AICC General Secretary in charge of UP, will join both the groups in their yatras. Giving details of the roadshows, Azad on Wednesday asserted that the Congress was fighting the election to form the next government and not to merely increase the number of party legislators in the Assembly.
“The BSP, the SP and the BJP, all of them have formed governments in UP in the last three decades, and they have divided the society to come to power. We will seek the support of all religions and castes. We will unite the society to form government,” he said.
The series of yatras are being run on the theme “27 saal, UP Behaal”, referring to the 27 years that the Congress has been out of power in the state and conveying the idea that the state has gone downhill during this period. Earlier this month Congress President Sonia Gandhi had held a highly successful roadshow in Varanasi.