On second day of his Gujarat visit, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today visited the Patidar-dominated areas of poll-bound state. Eyeing the support of the influential Patel community, Rahul urged the party workers to work hard to bring the party to power in Gujarat. The grand old party has been out of power for the last 22 years in this western state.
Taking a dig at BJP governments in the state and at the Centre, Rahul said that if the Congress was voted to power, his party's government would function from Gujarat and not on orders from Delhi.
On his way from Jamnagar to Rajkot, at Falla village in Jamnagar, locals welcomed him by raising the slogan 'Jai Patidar, Jai Sardar'. People were also seen wearing caps with the same slogan.
Rahul, who is on the second day of his three-day tour of Gujarat, is slated to visit several villages and towns, such as Dhrol and Tankara that have a sizable Patel population. The Congress is hoping to get the support of this decisive vote bank during the polls due later this year.
On Monday, Rahul was greeted by Hardik Patel, leader of the Patel quota agitation. "A warm welcome to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat," Patel tweeted in Hindi yesterday when Rahul landed at Dwarka.
Patel had earlier hinted that he may consider supporting the Congress in the Assembly polls to achieve the goal of reservation to the Patel community under OBC quota.
Rahul had attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over issues like note ban, GST, farm policies and 'Gujarat model' of development, during his campaign from Dwarka to Jamnagar yesterday. He also expressed confidence about winning the upcoming Assembly elections, claiming that there was a strong undercurrent in favour of the Congress in Gujarat and the people regretted having voted for the BJP.