Shimla, Oct 6: Himachal Pradesh has already entered the election season, although the Election Commission (EC) is yet to declare dates for the state Assembly polls in the state, which in all likelihood will take place later this year.
So, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi 'unofficially' kick-started the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) poll campaign in the hill state early this week, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will be heading to the state on Saturday to do his bid for the party.
Rahul will be visiting the state, where the Congress in is power, immediately after wrapping up his Uttar Pradesh visit on Friday. So, it looks like Rahul is in no mood to rest and busy boosting the party's electoral prospects ahead of Assembly polls in Gujarat (where he recently finished a three-day tour) and Himachal Pradesh.
According to reports, Rahul will kick-start Congress' poll rally from Mandi area of the hill state. Rahul's visit to Himachal Pradesh also holds significance as the party in the state is facing infighting.
The Congress in Himachal Pradesh is divided into two camps--one headed by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and the other by the state unit chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu.
Since, Rahul has decided to launch the party's poll campaign from Mandi, the home turf of the incumbent CM, party sources say Singh is in an advantageous position then Sukhu. Party sources revealed that Rahul might announce Singh's name as the CM candidate for the party once again this time.
During his Mandi speech, Rahul is expected to hit back at PM Modi, who recently attacked the Congress party for being out on bail, said party insiders. Modi on Tuesday took a swipe at Himachal Pradesh CM by asking the people of the State to throw out the Congress government which is "on bail."
Kicking off the BJP's election campaign in Himachal Pradesh, he said the Congress leadership was wary of taking action against the CM as it was also sailing in the same boat.
He was addressing the "Abhar rally" of the BJP after laying the foundation for an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Kothipura in Bilaspur district; IIIT in Haroli constituency in Una and dedicating the Steel Processing Plant at Kandrori in Kangra district online from the Water Sports Complex on the banks of Gobind Sagar Dam.
"The entire family of the CM is facing corruption charges and is on bail and when I asked some Congress leaders as to why the CM is not being replaced, they said that how can the party take action when the entire top leadership is itself on bail," Modi said.
CM Singh is facing money laundering and disproportionate assets case. The elections for the 68-member Himachal Assembly are likely to take place in November.