Sonia Gandhi Vs. Narendra Modi - The New Indian Express

Sonia Gandhi Vs. Narendra Modi

Published: 07th November 2013 07:25 AM

Last Updated: 07th November 2013 07:29 AM

For the first time in this Assembly election season, Congress president Sonia Gandhi will have a direct face-off with the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Chhattisgarh on Thursday.

Sonia, who has been missing in action till now and had left it to her son and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi to counter the high-decibel BJP campaign, will address a rally in Kondagaon in the tribal-dominated Bastar region. Just a few kilometres away from the Congress chief’s rally, Modi will address not one but three rallies in Bastar, Kanker and Rajnandgaon.

The Congress, which faced a severe calamity five months ago when its top state leadership was wiped out in a daring Maoist attack in Bastar, is focusing on the 12 seats of the area, making it almost an emotional, prestige issue. In the 2008 Assembly elections, the Congress managed to win only one seat in the region with the all remaining seats going to the BJP.  It’s not just Sonia who will be taking on Modi. The party president’s Thursday rally in Kondagaon will be followed up by Rahul’s rallies in Rajnandgaon and Durg on Friday and a public meeting by the Prime Minister in Raipur on Saturday.  And if the Congress sources are to be believed, the top three will be back for the next phase. Veteran L K Advani will address rallies in Kasdol, Bilaspur and Bhatapara on November 9. To show that Chhattisgarh is getting all the attention, Sonia will be back in the state on November 12 to address rallies in Ambikapur and Durg.  This is will be followed by Rahul’s rallies in Surajpur and Bilaspur on November 16. Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Murli Manohar Joshi would also campaign in the state.

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