Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi are scheduled to address 13 rallies altogether.
Rahul Gandhi will address nine election rallies including two in crucial Seemanchal region of Bihar, where Asaduddin Owaisi’s MIM threatens to upset the secular grand alliance of JD(U), RJD and Congress that is locked in a tough battle against BJP-led NDA.As per the programme finalised so far, Congress President Sonia Gandhi will also address at least four rallies during the party’s month-long campaign, which will start on October 3 from Bhagalpur. Sources in the party said there may be some additions in the number of rallies addressed by these leaders as per the demand of the state unit. At present they are scheduled to address 13 rallies altogether.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rahul will be holding public meetings on October 7, 26 and 30. He is scheduled to address three rallies everyday. On October 7, he will be in Begusarai, Sheikhpura and Kaimur near Sasaram followed by West Champaran, East Champaran and Sitamarhi on October 26 and Kishanganj and Katihar in Seemanchal region on October 30th.Voting will take place in Kishanganj and Katihar in the last phase on November 5, when the maximum of 57 Assembly constituencies go to the polls on a single day. Both the districts have large Muslim population which is expected to play a decisive role in the poll outcome.The election results from Seemanchal region have always played a key role in government formation in the state. This time Owaisi is making a debut in Bihar polls and has chosen to field candidates, including rebels from established parties, in the Seemanchal region, which threatens to ruin the prospect of the grand alliance.Besides, NCP’s Tariq Anwar, Katihar MP, has been named as chief ministerial candidate of the Samajwadi Party-led third front of six parties that includes Pappu Yadav’s Jan Adhikar Party-Loktantrik (JAP-L), Samras Samaj Party (SSP), Nationalists Peoples Party (NPP) and Samajwadi Janata Party (SJP).SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav playing the minority card, after walking out of the grand alliance, could make the battle tough for the JD(U)-RJD-Congress combine in the Seemanchal region. Leaders of the grand alliance, have, however, downplayed the impact of Owaisi or the third front on the election outcome.Rahul will on October 26 also address rallies in West Champaran and East Champaran , which will go to polls on November 1 in the fourth phase, when votes will be cast in 55 Assembly seats in seven districts. Sonia will address another rally at Wajirganj in Gaya district on October 3. Gaya has a sizeable population of Mahadalits and is the home district of former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, whose party HAM (Secular) is an ally of NDA.Congress has fielded old warhorse Awdhesh Singh from Wajirganj constituency, a seat held by BJP at present. The district of Gaya is considered a stronghold of BJP. Modi has already visited Bodhgaya.Sonia will also address one rally each in Buxar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s home turf Saran on October 17.The BJP, in alliance with Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP, Upendar Kushwaha’s RLSP and Manjhi’s HAM (Secular) is making a serious bid to wrest power from two-term Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is allied with Lalu Prasad and Congress to checkmate Modi-led BJP, which virtually decimated them in Bihar in the last Lok Sabha polls.After the Delhi drubbing, Bihar polls are a make or break election for BJP while the political future of both Prasad and Kumar also hinges on it in this crucial poll. Bihar will have five-phase elections extending from October 12 to November 5 this year to elect 243 members of its legislative Assembly. Results will be announced on November 8.