Rahul Gandhi begins his south India sojourn to strengthen Congress, counter BJP

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New Delhi, June 1: The Congress has finally realised that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is bringing all its energies together to spread its wings across south India. In order to counter the saffron party's move, the Congress which of late is lying low because of its regular electoral defeats, is sending its vice president Rahul Gandhi on a short trip to south.

Beginning his south India journey on Thursday, Rahul will be visiting Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to strengthen the opposition's campaign against the Narendra Modi government.

Rahul Gandhi

According to the Congress, the party VP will be addressing a rally at Sangareddy, near Hyderabad, on Thursday. On June 3, he will be attending the birthday celebrations of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M Karunanidhi.

The big birthday bash of the DMK supremo will also be attended by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar, Trinamool Congress parliamentary party chief Sudip Bandhopadhyay and Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, to name a few.

The birthday celebrations of Karunanidhi is seen by political analysts as a get-together of the opposition parties ahead of the presidential polls. In fact, last week the leaders of the anti-National Democratic Alliance parties attended a luncheon hosted by Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the national capital.

The absence of Bihar CM from the meeting was seen by many as a fissure with the opposition parties.

On June 4, Rahul will be addressing a joint-rally in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, along with Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav and leaders of the left parties. This rally would be attended by leaders of seven to eight opposition parties, reported IANS.

Major opposition parties came together last week on a common platform and decided to contest the upcoming presidential election if the government does not announce a consensus candidate.

The luncheon meeting convened by Congress president, brought together leaders of mutually antagonistic outfits in states, like the leftists with Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati face to face with Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav.

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