Cong ups efforts for record turnout in Rae Bareli bypoll
Lucknow, Apr 10: Following a poor voter turnout in Rae Bareli general elections in 2004, Congress in Uttar Pradesh is making all out efforts for a record voter response with AICC president Sonia Gandhi announcing to once again seek mandate from the same seat.
The May 8 bypoll was necessitated after Ms Gandhi announced to vacate her Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat following the office of profit controversy in March.
During the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, while Sonia romped home with the majority of the votes cast, a poor voter turnout (little less than 50 per cent) had embarassed the floor managers of the AICC president in Rae Bareli.
''Besides routine campaigning, we will tell the people why is it necessary to vote for Ms Gandhi in large numbers...we will ask the traditional Congress voters to come out despite the heat as the bypoll is aimed at silencing her political rivals,'' said a party leader. For the purpose the Rae Bareli unit of Congress is using slogans like ''Sonia ke samman mein, janata utri maidan mein,'' to generate a record voter turnout.
The AICC, meanwhile, had been getting messages from people to ask Ms Gandhi not to tour much during campaigning. ''People who go to the AICC or people who meet her representatives in Rae Bareli have communicated that as she would win the bypoll, therefore she should concentrate on other issues than her election,'' added the leader.
During her recent public meeting in Rae Bareli soon after she resigned, people who met her had expressed similar feelings.