RAIPUR: Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will address public meetings in Chhattisgarh, where assembly elections are due by the year-end, on Saturday. Ahead of the polls in the Congress-ruled state, this is for the first time that events of the two senior leaders belonging to rival parties are coinciding on the same day.
While Shah will attend two functions, one in Raipur and the other at Saraipali in Mahasamund district, Gandhi will address a programme of Rajiv Yuva Mitan Club in Nava Raipur – the upcoming new capital city of Chhattisgarh. Shah will release an ‘Aarop Patra’ (charge sheet) against the Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government at Pt Deendayal Upadhyay Auditorium in Raipur at 11 am, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) functionary said.
He will then leave for Khairmal village in Saraipali area to attend an ‘abhinandan’ programme organised by tribal groups. He will also address the function, he said. After being in power for 15 years since 2003 under the leadership of Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh, the BJP suffered a massive defeat in the 2018 assembly elections at the hands of Congress and now it is looking to wrest the state.
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi will address the state-level convention of Rajiv Yuva Mitan Club, constituted under the state’s sports and youth welfare department, at ‘Rajyotsav Mela Sthal’ at 2 pm, an official said. The Congress leader was in Mumbai on Friday to take part in a meeting of the opposition INDIA alliance.
It will be Gandhi’s first visit to the poll-bound state after the Congress held its plenary session in Raipur in February this year. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel will be present during the function. In the 2018 assembly polls, the Congress won 68 of 90 seats in the state, while the BJP finished a distant second at 15. The JCC (J) won in five constituencies and its ally BSP got two seats. The Congress currently has 71 members in the House.