Rahul set to address 70 rallies for alliance partners

Congress President Rahul Gandhi has emerged as a stronger challenger to Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the Congress' win in the Hindi heartland last month. PTI file photo

Congress president Rahul Gandhi will be the star campaigner for the opposition alliance for the Lok Sabha polls and is set to address at least 70 rallies for the partners across the country.

Opposition sources said Rahul, who has emerged as a stronger challenger to Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the Congress' win in the Hindi heartland last month, will campaign for alliance partners in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and some states in the Northeast.

Opposition leaders are planning a strategy to counter Modi, who has been playing the victim card, by dubbing the opposition alliance as a club of 'rich dynasties' out to protect their personal turfs.

Top opposition leaders, who met recently, will try to project their alliance as state-specific and refrain from calling it a grand coalition against Modi.

“It will not be a grand alliance, but a coming together of opposition parties in every state,” a key opposition strategist said noting that if Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party strike a proper alliance in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP could be restricted to 20 seats in the state where it had won 71 seats in 2014.

Opposition leaders were also appreciative of the manner in which Rahul handled the campaign against the Modi government on the Rafale fighter aircraft deal.

After the Congress posted victories in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, DMK president M K Stalin had come out in open support of Rahul as the prime ministerial candidate of the Opposition alliance.

Though a section of the Opposition was apprehensive in endorsing Stalin wholeheartedly, there is a quiet acceptance in their ranks that the Congress will have to play a pivotal role in ensuring the success of any future coalition government.

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Rahul set to address 70 rallies for alliance partners

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