Rahul Gandhi will be in Kolkata to address party

KOLKATA: AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi will be in Kolkata to address party workers in the first week of September at a rally on the Shahid Minar ground to rejuvenate the beleaguered Congress workers. Gandhi is also scheduled to visit the state later next month for a three-day tour of the districts.

With the Youth Congress membership drive scheduled to start from next month, the West Bengal Pradesh Congress has lined up a number of meetings across the state featuring Congress ministers and MPs. Rahul Gandhi will address the rally at Shahid Minar. Later in September, Sonia Gandhi will be in Kolkata for the mini-AICC convention.

“The rally will be held on either September 6 or September 8. There is a general strike called by the trade unions on September 7. The date will be finalised in a day or two. The membership drive will be launched from the Shahid Minar rally,” said Pradesh Congress president Manas Bhunia. “Rahul Gandhi’s meeting will rejuvenate Congress workers from all levels.

Congress has lost the upper hand to Trinamool Congress in entire south Bengal. In the last Lok Sabha polls, barring a few, all the seats went to Trinamool Congress. Before the 2011 Assembly polls, Congress wants to revamp its organization before sitting down for seat-sharing with Trinamool.

Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee is also likely to address the rally.

In the middle of September, Rahul Gandhi will return to Bengal. This time, he will go to the villages as he has done in other parts of the country.

On Tuesday, a meeting was called with all the district presidents and heads of the frontal organizations. Barring the presidents of Howrah, Nadia and Murshidabad, the rest were present.

As a part of Congress drive to strengthen its organization in the state, 42 MLAs from different parts of the country have visited each of the 42 parliamentary seats in the state. All of them will be submitting their reports to Rahul Gandhi.

From August 26 to September 1, a series of meetings will be held in the districts. The rallies will be held at Cooch Behar, Behrampore, Asansol, Siliguri, Malda, Burdwan, Kakdwip, Howrah, Serampore, Haldia, Ranaghat, Keshpur and Barasat. The speakers at the meetings are Sachin Pilot, Jitin Prasada, Raj Babbar, Priya Dutt, Mohammad Azharuddin among others.

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