Kharge, Rahul, Priyanka to Address Rally in Maharashtra

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MUMBAI — In a boost for the Congress’ Maharashtra unit, top leaders like President Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra are likely to address a rally in Nagpur in the third week of this month, party leaders said on Thursday.

The rally, tentatively scheduled between April 20-25, will come soon after the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA)’s major public meeting scheduled here on April 16.

“The exact dates of the rally shall be finalised next week at a party meeting,” state Congress chief Nana Patole said.

This will be Rahul Gandhi’s first visit to the state after his conviction by a Surat Court in a defamation case and subsequent disqualification from the Lok Sabha which sparked a huge political furore.

A party leader said the rally will be part of a series to go and address the masses directly as Congress leaders are “not allowed to speak” in the Parliament.

Recently, the ruling Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party had slammed Gandhi for his repeated attacks on the Hindutva ideologue Vinayak D. Savarkar.

Even the MVA ally – Shiv Sena-UBT has taken strong objections to Gandhi’s utterances while Nationalist Congress Party leaders and certain sections of Congress, have advised restraint as Savarkar is an icon in the state.

Nagpur also happens to be the headquarters of the RSS, the ruling BJP’s ideological mentor and home town of other bigwigs like Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, state party chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule, and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who have also attacked Gandhi on the Savarkar issue. — IANS

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