Rahul Gandhi in state from Nov 7, to address 2 rallies in 14 days

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is set to address two rallies in Maharashtra as part of ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ during his 14-day programme in the state starting on November 7.

He will cover over 370 km from Nanded district’s Deglur in Maharashtra, via Hingoli, Washim and Akola to Buldhana district’s Jalgaon-Jamod in Vidarbha — during the yatra, which began from Kanyakumari last month and will enter Maharashtra’s Deglur from Telangana on Monday (November 7) evening.

All leaders and elected representatives of the Congress, who will be present during the rally, have planned a grand welcome for Gandhi, with 44 party MLAs being given different responsibilities at various locations for the same.

Gandhi will address a public rally in Nanded and Shegaon on November 10 and 18, respectively. Several corner meetings will also be held apart from these rallies. Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole had said, “Both the rallies will be unprecedented in terms of the crowd attending it. We expect over 10 lakh people to participate during the Shegaon rally.”

Congress, which has been keen on bringing opposition parties together, has invited Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar to join the yatra. Both the political leaders have accepted the invitation, and Pawar is likely to walk along with Gandhi during the yatra on November 8, Congress leaders said. Sena, however, is yet to confirm as to whether Uddhav or Aaditya Thackeray will join Gandhi.

During the course of the yatra, Gandhi is scheduled to interact with the locals, several rights’ groups, individuals from different fields, and also attend cultural programmes organised by different groups at various locations.

Several non-political groups will also participate in the yatra. “We are a group of around 130 youngsters, who have come together with a firm belief in democratic and constitutional values, and many of our members are not even Congress workers. We will walk along these areas to spread the message of the yatra,” said Ashutosh Shirke, who works with Mahanirdhar Group, comprising youngsters from different parts of the state. Several individuals related to groups such as ‘Friends of Democracy’, ‘Youth for Democracy’, ‘Mulbhut Adhikar Sangharsh Samiti’ and ‘Sane Guruji Rashtriya Smarak’ will also join the yatra.

“We have urged all like-minded individuals and organisations to participate in the yatra. We have received an excellent response from across the state, and are likely to see their participation during the course of the yatra,” said Patole.

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