Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Monday kicked off a three-day campaign for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections from Dwarka in Saurashtra, PTI reported.
Gandhi began his campaign with prayers at the Dwarkadhish Temple. After local authorities denied him permission to use an open jeep for his roadshow, Gandhi rode on a bullock cart through the Hanjdapar village in Dwarka and spoke to farmers, NDTV reported.
The Congress’ decision to launch the campaign from Saurashtra, which sends 58 MLAs to the 182-member Assembly, is seen as a move to court the Patidar and Other Backward Class electorate, the Hindustan Times reported. The two communities form the core of the Bharatiya Janata Party support base in Gujarat. Patidar protest leader Hardik Patel met Gandhi before his rally.
During his tour, Gandhi will meet traders over what the Congress calls the faulty implementation of the Goods and Services Tax. He will also meet farmers protesting over support prices for crops.
After the Dwarka road show, the Congress leader will go to Jamnagar and then, on September 26, to Dhrol and Tankara before reaching Rajkot, senior Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil said.
After Saurashtra, Gandhi will campaign in the rest of the Gujarat, PTI reported.