As the president-elect of the Congress party, Rahul Gandhi is going to be formally crowned on December 16, his party is preparing to take the crown in Gujarat as well.

Touching the hearts of the common masses including the youth, farmers and women with his pointed speeches on local issues, the Congress scion has stormed the Gujarat election campaigning - quite literally.

A confident youth icon has carved out his own fan-following out of the 22 year-old ‘Modi Wave’ in Gujarat — the home state of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In Viramgam, a town barely 65 kms from Ahmedabad, Rahul promised the youth more jobs, affordable healthcare and remunerative agricultural prices of the commodities amid the chants of ‘Rahul.. Rahul’ from the crowd, indicating at what he describes as ‘Congress ki andhi’ — a storm of Congress.

promises galore

Taking out a few selective leaves from the Congress manifesto, the Congress president-elect tried to woo the voters by highlighting the Congress’ ‘strength’ and ‘strategy’.

“Modiji has waived off Rs 1.30 lakh crore of top 10 industrialists in the country. But when a small farmer pleads for farm loan waiver of Rs 15,000 or Rs 10,000, Jaitleyji says that is not the policy of the BJP. But I tell, you Congress has a policy to waive off farmers’ loans. And you make a count of 1–10 and after 10 days of forming a government in Gujarat, we will prepare a policy to waive off the farm loans,” he told a gathering at Tharad in Banaskantha district earlier on Monday.

Visibly sanguine, Rahul attacked the Prime Minister and the BJP government in Gujarat for spreading false promises and causing distress among the youth and poor over the 22 year-rule.

Further, riding on the Sardar Patel wave and the Patidar support, Rahul also promised to launch ‘Sardar Patel Universal Health Card’ for affordable/free healthcare for all. “We will launch Sardar Patel health card under which you will get free medicines at government hospitals and free operations too. Ashok Gehlotji has successfully done it in Rajasthan,” he said further attacking at the PM by saying, “Unlike Modij, there won’t be much of marketing. But you will see the work done.”

spearheading campaign

While Rahul’s speeches were confined to the party’s manifesto, he repeatedly mocked at the Prime Minister Modi for increasingly focusing on himself and Congress bashing rather than addressing the real issues of Gujarat.

“In his speeches, Modiji now speaks of only two things. Half of the time, he speaks about Congress. Why does he spends so much time on Congress, when he claims that he has decimated the Congress? Secondly, we find in Modiji's speeches is Modiji himself. When would he speak about the future of Gujarat?,” Rahul said.

On Monday, as the All India Congress Committee (AICC) announced election of Rahul Gandhi as the next party president, Rahul spent the day with the voters in Gujarat’s North and Central Gujarat regions, which will vote in the second phase on December 14.

Rahul, who has so far spearheaded the Congress campaign single-handedly for Gujarat polls, addressed rallies in districts of Banaskantha, Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Gandhinagar on Monday.

Campaigning for the second phase ends on Tuesday.

The first phase voting was held on December 9 and the results will be out on December 18.