Sonia Gandhi to address rally in Bastar today

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Raipur, Nov 7: Congress president Sonia Gandhi will address a public rally at Kondagaon in Bastar on Thursday. A divided house until recently, Congress is putting up a spirited campaign to checkmate BJP in its erstwhile stronghold of Naxal-dominated Bastar region of Chhattisgarh.

However, the ruling party hopes to cash on its developmental agenda coupled with Chief Minister Raman Singh's clean image in the Assembly elections. The Maoist-dominated areas of the state are going to polls in first phase of the Assembly elections on November 11 and Congress is battling hard to win back the tribal-dominated region which was once its stronghold and had gone the BJP way in the last two elections.

Sonia Gandhi's rally a spirited campaign to checkmate BJP in Bastar Sonia Gandhi's rally a spirited campaign to checkmate BJP in Bastar Singh held a road show across the Bastar district headquarters of Jagdalpur on Tuesday evening as a large number of women lined up along roads with lamps to welcome him while many youth rode in their bikes behind his cavalcade, raising slogans in favour of the "vikas purush" (development man).

IEDs were recovered from the state ahead of the two high-profile rallies

"We have done so much and we will do much more. But you have to ensure that people come out and press the EVM in our favour," he told the crowd amid concerns in the region over naxal's threat to villagers to boycott polls. "He has definitely done a lot for the state. The poor would not be as happy anywhere as they are in Chhattisgarh due to his food and health welfare schemes," Prahlad Gaud, a BJP supporter, said. Not everybody, however, agrees.

Congress leaders, now seemingly united, are running a campaign highlighting the corruption of cabinet ministers, accused of pocketing commissions and being involved in mine scandals, who have been "shielded" by Singh against any probe.

Security forces defused two IEDs weighing around 50 kg in Dantewada area of the state BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is also scheduled to address a rally besides Gandhi.

PTI

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