Congress to start its LS poll campaign on Mar 30

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Kanpur, Mar 29: Congress will formally launch its Lok Sabha election campaign in Uttar Pradesh here tomorrow during the UP Congress Committee's general body meeting and open session to be attended by AICC president Sonia Gandhi and general secretary Rahul Gandhi.

The all important meeting to be attended by senior Congress leaders would clarify the party's clear cut stand on its closeness whether with the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) or the Samajwadi Party.

During recent political development in UP, SP leaders and to some extent BSP leadership had shown their closeness with the Congress.

UPCC, which is holding the open session and general body meeting in the state after a gap of 26 years, would certainly give the leaders a platform to clarify the party's stand on the SP-BSP issue, a senior party official said.

The two-day meeting, to conclude with a massive public rally to be addressed by Sonia Gandhi on Monday, would project the political strategy of the Congress for the coming Lok Sabha polls in the state. The main objective of the meeting would be to discuss the strategy for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, said UP Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi here today.

Ms Joshi said Rahul would be present at the meeting on both the days and even chair all the important meetings tomorrow evening to discuss the names of the candidates in the LS polls.

While Mr Rahul Gandhi would inguaurate the session in the morning of March 30 and participate in all the sittings, Ms Gandhi would be the chief guest of the concluding session and later address a public meeting at Phoolbagh ground.

The two-day meeting where about 2,000 Congress leaders, including the AICC and PCC members along with special invitees would deliberate upon several issues and to adopt two resolutions -- political and economic.

Ms Joshi said the open convention would be held at Nanarao Park, where all arrangments had been made for the function to hold three sessions, two on the first day and one on the last day. ''The open session would be historic of its kind, as it is being held after 26 years besides being held on the backdrop of the people oriented central budget and completion of 10 years of political career of Ms Gandhi,'' she added. The last open session and general body meeting of the UPCC was held in Kanpur itself in 1982.

Senior Congress leaders, including former MP Chief Minister and UP in charge Digvijay Singh, Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal, Congress national secretary Parvez Hashmi, Congress legislature party leader Pramod Tiwari and Ms Joshi had already reached here. Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee President Jaiprakash Agarwal is here as an observer of the convention.

Meanwhile, Union Minister of state for home Sriprakash Jaiswal told UNI here that in the economic resolution, the factors which led to UP's financially backwardness would be discussed, while the stock of the previous non-Congress governments would be taken up in the political resolution.


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