Sonia to lead Cong roadshow in Varanasi tomorrow

Varanasi:ongress president Sonia Gandhi will offer prayers at Kashi Vishwanath temple after leading a roadshow organised by the party here tomorrow.

The party’s chief ministerial candidate for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election, Sheila Dikshit, said this at a press conference here today, adding that UP Congress chief Raj Babbar and senior leaders such as Ghulam Nabi Azad, Salman Khurshid, Sriprakash Jaiswal, Pramod Tiwari, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Zafar Ali, Sanjay Singh, Rana Goswami, Rajesh Mishra, Ajay Rai, Rajeshpati Tripathi etc. will take part in it.

The roadshow will begin from Kachahari at 12 noon after party leaders garland the statue of BR Ambedkar and will cover a distance of around eight kilometers in three hours.

It will conclude at Englishiyaline where Sonia is expected to deliver a short speech and garland the statue of former Union Minister and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister late Kamlapati Tripathi.

Maintaining that the roadshow is a part of the party’s ’27 saal, UP Behaal’ campaign, Dikshit launched an attack on the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) in the state for the recent Bulandshahr gangrape incident.

“Law and order in the state under the SP has worsened and the recent incident of Bulandshahr was highly condemnable,” she said, adding that the Congress wants to rid the state of “SP, BSP and BJP misrule of the last 27 years” and put it on the path towards development.

Replying to a query, Dikshit, who claimed herself to be a “UP wallah”, said her age was not an issue till the time she had the “will to work in public interest”.

“I became the Delhi Chief Minister at the age of 60.

Even then, people used to talk about my age but I served for almost 15 years.

“I will be fortunate to get a chance to serve my own state, Uttar Pradesh. I will put in my best efforts for its betterment. I am 78 but my age is not an issue till the time I am willing to work,” she said.

Dikshit claimed the development of Uttar Pradesh was visible 27 years ago when the Congress was in power in the state but subsequent governments led by the SP, BSP and BJP “misruled by playing out religion and caste-based politics”.

Lamenting the lack of job opportunities for the youth in the state, she claimed that her party would change the scenario by setting up industries if voted to power.

Newly appointed Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Babbar claimed the party was confident of forming the government in the state in 2017.

Defending Dikshit’s selection as the party’s chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh, he attacked the BJP saying, “The Congress gives respect to its elder members, unlike another party that sidelines them.