Rahul Gandhi to launch campaign on March 9

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Hyderabad, March 7: Congress president Rahul Gandhi will launch the party campaign in Telangana on March 9.

Rahul Gandhi will address a public meeting at Shamshabad and also unveil the modalities of Minimum Income Guarantee scheme which the party proposes to implement if voted to power at the Centre in forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The meeting was originally proposed to be held at an open land in Pahadishareef area. However, the land owner has reportedly denied permission citing pressure from TRS and MIM leaders. Consequently, the venue was shifted to Shamshabad. Here too, the Congress leaders had difficulties in getting the police permission.

According to sources, police permission was initially denied on the pretext that the public meeting might cause inconvenience to the people going towards or coming from the international airport. After much persuasion, the Congress leaders reportedly managed to get permission after approaching Director General of Police Mahender Reddy.

Congress party is planning to mobilise at least 2 lakh people for the meeting. During the review meeting held at Gandhi Bhavan on Wednesday, directions were issued to cadre for participation of at least 10 members from each polling booth. With existence of over 32,000 booth committees across Telangana, the Congress party is expecting attendance of nearly 2 lakh workers in the meeting. However, the Congress party has reportedly told the police authorities that the total number of participants would be around 30,000.

AICC Telangana Incharge R.C. Khuntia, TPCC President Uttam Kumar Reddy, CLP leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and other senior leaders are ensuring elaborate arrangements for the meeting, which they expect, would rejuvenate the cadre which got demoralised after a humiliating defeat in last Assembly elections. This will be the first in the series of meetings to be addressed by Rahul Gandhi in Telangana.

As of now, the Telangana leaders have not yet framed their campaign or formulated any strategy to face the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. They are totally dependent on the AICC and would act only as per the directions of Central leadership.

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