High fever forced Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to cut short a successful roadshow in PM Modi’s constituency Varanasi on Tuesday. The rally attracted thousands and enthused party members. Hundreds of Congress workers carrying placards with the message ’27 Saal, UP Behaal’ led the roadshow. The party has decided to kickoff their campaign in Varanasi to highlight how Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi has ‘failed’ in developing the constituency in the last two years.
Sonia headed back to Delhi as it was felt she would not be able to continue the rally. She landed in the capital late at night and was taken to the Army’s R&R Hospital. Ghulam Nabi Azad said her condition was stable.
Her journey had begun with garlanding a statue of Dalit icon Dr BR Ambedkar. It was meant to climax with a speech delivered at a memorial for Kamalapati Tripathi an icon of the Brahmin community the party is wooing having projected Sheila Dikshit as its CM nominee.
The roadshow and temple visit were completed by other members who followed Sonia, Sheila Dikshit, Raj Babbar, Pramod Tiwari, P L Punia, Sanjay Singh and Rita Joshi. Mrs Gandhi drew larger crowds in Muslim neighborhoods than other stretches.
Two weeks ago, the Congress launched its campaign by placing its chief ministerial candidate Sheila Dikshit on a bus headed from Delhi to Kanpur. Ms Dikshit, 78, fell ill and was forced to return home.
Varanasi is a key place in eastern Uttar Pradesh having some 160 of the 403 Assembly constituencies in the state. Congress had only won two seats — Amethi and Rae Bareli — in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, while BJP and its ally Apna Dal secured 73 seats out of total 80.