Rahul's first election rally in Bastar on Sept 26

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Rahul Gandhi
Bastar, Chhattisgarh: Just three months after the Maoist bloodbath that had almost wiped out the presence of Congress from the state, Rahul Gandhi would step in for his first election rally in Bastar, Chhattisgarh. He would also hold sessions with party leaders in the state, after addressing the rally at Jagdalpur on 26 September. Meanwhile, a reconstituted Congress gears up to take on the ruling BJP in assembly elections this year.

However, that would require considerable amount of patching up between sulking ministers and doing away with groupism, which forms one of the comming problems in the state unit. Hence, efforts have been made through dinner diplomacy to bring party members together.

Rahul Gandhi to step in Bastar just three months after the bloodbath by Maoists.

Congress had high hopes from the state where Raman Singh has been chief minister for last two terms.

The Bastar region, was once a stronghold of Congress, but saw the BJP making strong presence even in Naxal-ruled areas. On May 25, Maoists had ambushed a convoy of Congress leaders in Bastar during the party's Parivartan Yatra, killing 27 people, including state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh, senior leader Mahendra Karma, VC Shukla and ex-MLA Uday Mudaliyar.

Following this, in July, the Congress reconstituted its state unit making Charan Das Mahant, Union minister, as party chief for Chhattisgarh.

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