Congress heavyweights to campaign in the last leg

Congress heavyweights to campaign in the last leg

Congress is all set to deploy its top leaders in Karnataka for the last phase of campaigning before voters line up to exercise their franchise for the elections to the 223 Assembly seats on May 12.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to address a press conference in Bengaluru on Monday, while UPA chairperson and former Congress President Sonia Gandhi will address an election rally in Vijaypura on Tuesday.

This would be Gandhi’s first election rally in nearly two years. Her last participation in an election event was a roadshow in Varanasi on August 2, 2016, which she had to call off midway due to ill-health. The roadshow in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency launched the Congress’ campaign for the Uttar Pradesh elections in 2017.

Sonia had stayed away from the campaign trail for elections to as many as nine state Assemblies before addressing the Jan Akrosh Rally in Delhi on April 29. Singh had participated in the campaign for the Gujarat elections by addressing press conferences and interacting with business leaders in the Surat and Ahmedabad.

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram is expected to join the campaign on Tuesday and Wednesday and address press conferences, Congress sources said.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to take out a protest march in Kolar against the increase in petrol prices on Monday and campaign in Bengaluru Rural. He is expected to be in Chikkaballapur and Tumakuru on Tuesday, before taking out a roadshow in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot is also expected to hit the campaign trail in Karnataka, with an aim to woo the young voters and also reach out to the sizable Rajasthani voters in the state.

Former chief ministers Oommen Chandy, Ashok Chavan, former Union Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, All India Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev, All India Professionals’ Congress chief Shashi Tharoor young leaders Rajeev Satav, R P N Singh have also participated in the campaign.