The Congress will start its election campaign with farmers’ rally from Saurashtra. The rally will be addressed by national president Sonia Gandhi. Saurashtra has been a BJP stronghold since two decades backed by Patel votes. The ruling party secured 35 seats in 2007 assembly elections sparing 14 for Congress and one for NCP. However, the delimitation of assembly seats has changed the voter dynamics. Now, the number of representatives from Saurashtra region has dropped from 59 to 48, according to a data provided by the office of chief electoral officer of Gujarat.
The rally will test voters mood in Saurashtra region where farmers have suffered crop losses.
Sonia Gandhi who will address rallies in Rakot and Jetpur will seek to remind farmers that it was the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government that waived their debt worth Rs 70,000 crore in 2008. It hopes that this would strike a chord with local farmers who saw their crop dry down during the kharif season. Gujarat received scanty rains in July and August leading to the state government declaring 123 talukas of 14 districts as drought-affected.