Rahul to hit campaign trail in Maharashtra on Saturday

Congress' star campaigner Rahul Gandhi will hit the election trail in Maharashtra and Haryana, making yet another attempt to dent the BJP with a strident attack on its handling of the economy and increasing unemployment.

After an unsuccessful Lok Sabha campaign, Gandhi will kickstart his election tour with a rally in Mumbai on Sunday for party candidates in the city that sends 36 members to the state assembly.

The former Congress President is also scheduled to address a rally in Maharashtra on Monday, but the venue is yet to be announced. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also be in Maharashtra on Monday to campaign for BJP candidates, making it the first face-off between the arch-rivals on the campaign trail.

Gandhi will then head to Haryana where he is scheduled to address a rally on Tuesday.

Congress annouced Gandhi's campaign schedule on Thursday after he returned from a brief spiritual sojourn in Cambodia, which triggered a political row in the midst of elections.

The BJP and the Shiv Sena had mocked the Congress over Rahul's absence from the campaign trail in the state where a number of Congress leaders have switched loyalties to the ruling alliance.

On Wednesday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis hit out at the Congress, saying the main opposition party had accepted defeat even before the votes were cast.

Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray also suggested the Congress leaders to accept defeat and “go home instead of contesting elections.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi is also expected to join the electioneering in the two states, but the party was yet to announce any schedule for the same.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar is the lone prominent opposition leader slugging it out on the campaign trail by touring the state extensively.

Modi is expected to address nine rallies in Maharashtra beginning Monday and four meetings in Haryana from October 17.

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