Congress president Rahul Gandhi is addressing first public meeting by his party in Patna's Gandhi in nearly three decades. Congress party, which had lost relevance ever since Mandal burst on the political scene in the 1990s, is planning to leave no stone unturned for the 'comeback'. The party's state unit appears to have shed its ennui and working overtime to ensure that the rally is a grand success.
Here are the Latest Updates from the rally:
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#MP CM Kamal Nath at Jan Aakansha Rally: The first thing I did, after assuming the charge as the CM, was waiving off the farm loan. Today is 3 Feb, till 3 March we will waive off the farm loan of 30 Lakh farmers. After 3 March, we will waive off farm loan of rest of the 15 Lakh farmers.
#Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel at Jan Aakansha Rally, Patna: Clouds of problems have darkened today. Constitution and constitutional institutions are under threat. Farmers are in trouble. Unemployment is at the peak. There is organised loot. I'm confident that Bihar will rise once again
AICC in-charge of Bihar, Shaktisinh Gohil said Saturday that invitations have been sent to alliance partners like Tejashwi Yadav, Upendra Kushwaha and Jitan Ram Manjhi for the event. Congress is part of Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) in Bihar which also comprises RJD, RLSP and HAM of former chief minister Manjhi.
Manjhi has confirmed his presence at the event. It needs to be seen whether Kushwaha, who is nursing wounds at PMCH following clash with the police, will be able to make it to the programme or not. There, is, however, no word about participation of RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav.
#Bihar: Congress President Rahul Gandhi with Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel & Ahmed Patel enroute Patna for Congress rally at Gandhi Maidan today. pic.twitter.com/0YUYGZuNNC— ANI (@ANI) February 3, 2019
BPCC sources said party leaders have held at least 400 public meetings across the state in the recent past in a bid to galvanise support for the rally, which would serve as a veritable sounding of bugle for the Lok Sabha polls which may be announced next month.
This would be the first public meeting to be addressed by Rahul Gandhi in Bihar after he took over as the party president a little over a year ago and this has led to palpable enthusiasm among young cadre, who have put up colourful posters across the city, many of these taking jibes at the Narendra Modi government with earthy slogans.
Elaborate security arrangements are in place for the rally. According to Superintendent of Police, Patna, Garima Malik, nearly 3,000 police personnel, including constables, sub-inspectors and officers of DSP rank would be deployed in the city to maintain law and order even as a temporary outpost has been set up in the vicinity of the venue of the rally. In addition, Quick Response Teams and Anti-Terrorist Squad would be deployed inside the sprawling Gandhi Maidan where more than 100 CCTV cameras have been installed to keep a close watch on movement of people, Malik added.
Notably, the Gandhi Maidan which has witnessed rallies by luminaries like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajendra Prasad in the pre-Independence era and Jayaprakash Narayan, Indira Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee later on - was hit by a series of bomb explosions in 2013 when Narendra Modi, then the Chief Minister of Gujarat and the BJPs Prime Ministerial candidate, had addressed his maiden election meeting in Bihar.
A year later, a stampede at the huge ground with a perimeter of nearly 2.5 kilometers during Dussehra celebrations had claimed more than a score of lives.
(With inputs from PTI)