Rahul Gandhi to take Congress fight to TRS’ stronghold

Hyderabad: Congress president Rahul Gandhi will visit Telangana twice this month and his attention will be focused on the citadels of ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) in north Telangana region apart from the state capital Hyderabad.

During his visit on Saturday Rahul will address two election rallies at Bhainsa in Nirmal district and in Kamareddy before reaching Hyderabad in the evening.

Though the schedule of Telangana state assembly elections was announced by the election commission earlier this month, the Congress party’s campaign was yet to pick up pace as the top leaders were still busy bargaining with the other partners of Grand Alliance over seat sharing. The polling will take place on December 7.

Rahul’s scheduled visit to the heart of old city — Charminar- and his programme to address a Sadbhavna public meeting has already created a lot of buzz.

He will be participating in the programme in the evening to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Rajiv Sadbhavuna yatra and he was likely to utilise the occasion to address the concerns and issues of Muslim minority. Muslim-dominated old Hyderabad is traditionally a stronghold of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, a UPA ally turned bitter critic of Congress.

While the state Congress president N Uttam Kumar Reddy has expressed confidence that the Congress will be able to bag two to three assembly seats in the old city, MIM has said it was ready to face any challenge and retain its hold over the old city.

Earlier Rahul was scheduled to start his visit from Hyderabad and go to the other parts of Telangana but later the programme was changed. He will arrive at Nanded in neighbouring Maharashtra in the morning and take a helicopter to reach Bhainsa town across the border.

Rahul will again be visiting the state by the end of month and addressing a big rally in Karimnagar. The state leaders were also trying to rope in party’s senior-most leader Sonia Gandhi to campaign and address a rally in Warangal, another fortress of the TRS.

Meanwhile, popular balladeer Gaddar has welcomed Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the state and urged the people to make it a grand success. Gaddar, who had recently met Rahul in New Delhi, said that he welcomes the call of Rahul to launch a new national movement to unify the people of the country. “Let us protect the Constitution of India and secularism”, Gaddar said.

There are speculations Gaddar may contest election as a combined opposition candidate against caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.

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