Rahul Gandhi to Join Congress’ Parivartan Yatra Along Haryana’s Vote Corridor

Rahul Gandhi to Join Congress’ Parivartan Yatra Along Haryana’s Vote Corridor

Chandigarh: Congress president Rahul Gandhi will join party workers on the ‘Parivartan Yatra’ in Jagadhari. Haryana party in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad had mooted the idea of the rally to bring warring factions closer.

Accordingly, senior party leaders, including former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, state party president Ashok Tanwar, Kiran Chaudhary, Naveen Jindal, captain Ajay Yadav and Kumari Selja boarded a bus from Gurugram on March 26 for a six-day tour of the 10 Lok Sabha constituencies of the state. The yatra will come to an end in Palwal on March 31.

However, Congress leader Kuldeep Bishnoi was conspicuous by his absence. He had also skipped meetings of the newly constituted co-ordination committee, led by Hooda.

It was learnt Bishnoi could turn up along with Gandhi at Jagadhari and put an end to speculations of him joining the BJP.

Senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala also could not be a part of the journey reportedly owing to his commitments in Delhi.

Gandhi is expected to travel with party leaders and address public gatherings in Jagadhari, Radaur, Ladwa, Indri and Karnal.

The party leadership is said to be trying to target the Grand Trunk Road (GT Road) belt — the state’s ‘vote corridor’.

With Gandhi onboard, the ‘Parivartan Yatra’ will touch three Lok Sabha constituencies — Ambala, Kurukshetra and Karnal — along the belt.

All the three constituencies were bagged by BJP’s Ratan Lal Kataria (Ambala), Raj Kumar Saini (Kurukshetra) and Ashwini Kumar (Karnal) during the 2014 general election. Saini though now is a BJP rebel.

It was primarily the non-Jat voters of the belt that had turned the tables for the saffron brigade.

The BJP had won seven of the eight Lok Sabha seats it had contested in the state in 2014.

The remaining two seats of Hisar and Sirsa were unsuccessfully contested by its ally and Kuldeep Bishnoi-led Haryana Janhit Congress, which he later merged with the Congress.

Post the Lok Sabha sweep, the BJP came to power for the first time in the state in October 2014 by winning a majority of the seats falling on the GT Road belt.

Of the 25-odd Assembly seats in the region, the BJP had won 22, taking its tally to 47. Five districts — Ambala, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Yamunanagar and Panchkula districts — fall on this belt.

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