Mumbai, Oct 13 (): Rahul Gandhi, the Congress vice-president’s tendency to put foot-in-mouth when he referred to PM Narendra Modi as a ‘opposition leader’, sent the party in a tizzy.
Sources said senior party leaders even before he made the gaffe, had planned to limit Rahul Gandhi’s campaigning to smaller cities and rural areas so as to avoid any embarrassing situation.
Sources say the state unit deliberately kept Rahul’s rallies away from big cities. A top Congress leader said that over a prolonged discussion over Rahul Gandhi’s schedule in Maharashtra, they concluded that his rallies will not fetch a good response in big cities like Pune, Mumbai and Nagpur.
Leaders were of the view that the urban audience expect more from Rahul Gandhi and is yet to strike a chord with young urban voters. Senior leaders were not sure that city residents would turn up for Rahul Gandhi’s road-shows due to his poor oratory skills.
Rahul Gandhi during the Lok Sabha polls attracted poor crowds in Mumbai and Congress feels that Gandhi family charisma is intact in areas outside Mumbai and in rural areas. The middle-aged and elderly are still fascinated by Gandhi clan.
Rahul Gandhi’s campaign was limited to Mahad and in Ausa where Amit the son of Vilasrao Deshmukh is contesting. Sonia Gandhi campaigned in Kolhapur, Chandrapur, Aurangabad and Gondia.
Congress expects to bust NCP in rural areas and emerge as a party with more seats than its ally and look for a post poll alliance to keep BJP out of power. BJP and NCP are likely to go for a post poll alliance to keep Congress out of power.
As MNS and Sena are said to be on a match fixing, equations show that finally Sena factions will decide the future government and in which side they will align. As BJP is keen to put Sena in place and vice versa, Congress gets a hope as it has put Chavan as CM candidate.