Rahul strikes a chord with voters in Raje's turf

Rahul strikes a chord with voters in Raje's turf

Congress president Rahul Gandhi waves at crowd during a public meeting in Kota, Rajasthan on Wednesday. PTI

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi held his first public rally in Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's bastion of Jhalawar, followed by a 90-km road show from there to Kota district.

Jhalrapatan in Jhalawar is Vasundhara Raje's Assembly constituency, while Jhalawar-Baran is the parliamentary constituency of her son Dushyant Singh.

Kota and Jhalawar together comprise the Hadauti region, a BJP bastion, which was covered with Congress flags and banners of Rahul Gandhi, along with those of state leaders Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot.

Thousands of people were seen accompanying Rahul Gandhi's cavalcade, which stopped at Suket and Dabade in Kota, Mandana in Kota's Ramganj Mandi area, Jagpura, Anantpura crossing, Commerce college crossing, Aerodome circle, Kotadi circle and JDB Girls college.

Speaking to DH, Congress chief Sachin Pilot said, "Rahul Gandhi's rally received a huge response in Jhalawar and a similar enthusiasm was witnessed during the roadshow. His visit is worrisome for Vasundhara Raje as people of her own constituency have withdrawn their support towards her".

Pilot said the maximum number of suicides committed by farmers have been in Raje's Jhalawar and that that is why Rahul's visit is important. Rahul, at the rally, had also said Raje was being insensitive towards farmers.

As part of his two-day schedule, Rahul will also take part in the Mahila Congress Convention on Thursday, after which he will leave for Sikar.

He will also address a public meeting in Sikar, which is part of the farmer-dominated Shekhawati region, after which he will leave for Delhi.

In the last couple of months, the Congress president has conducted meetings in Jaipur, Dungarpur and Bikaner, as well as road shows in Jaipur, Bharatpur, Dausa and Dholpur — also a Raje turf.

Rajasthan will go to polls on December 7.

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