The Telegraph
Friday , January 31 , 2014
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Cong launches LS poll campaign

Ranchi, Jan. 30: The Congress used the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary today to hit the campaign trail for the Lok Sabha elections, while continuing its attack on the BJP’s prime ministerial pick Narendra Modi.

“Those who are giving slogans for a Congress-free country are themselves a burden on the nation. They will be erased,” said Congress general secretary in-charge of Jharkhand B.K. Hariprasad, hitting out at Modi.

Addressing the party’s Satya Sankalp Sammelan at Morabadi grounds in Ranchi this afternoon, Hariprasad added that country was passing through a crucial phase as “communal and fascist” forces were trying to present “Nathuram Godse” against Mahatma Gandhi as an icon.

“For 65 years, we have kept this country united. And I am sure if the coming elections are fought on the agenda of development nobody can defeat the Congress,” he told 10,000-odd crowd at the grounds.

State Congress chief Sukhdeo Bhagat, too, slammed Modi, without taking his name. “Gujarat has a glorious history. It had given birth to people like Gandhiji, whose ideologies are being followed across the globe. But now, a man from this state is preaching the gospel of Godse. It is for you to decide,” he said.

For the Congress’s perspective, today’s show was successful if the crowd — self driven or hired — is any indication. Never before the state Congress could muster the courage to hold a political show or rally at the sprawling Morabadi grounds, fearing it would not be able to summon a respectable gathering.

“It was a district-level programme. Had it been of a state-level rally, the grounds would have packed to the capacity. It is a Gandhi vs Godse battle you can see. And the country has joined us in this ideological battle,” Congress leader Alok Dubey claimed.

At the beginning, the leaders paid floral tribute to the Father of the Nation, followed by two bhajans — Vaishnav jan to tene kahiye and Raghupati raghav raja Ram — sung by a group of artists of Prasar Bharati, Ranchi.

Ranchi MP Subodh Kant Sahay administered oath to the crowd to spread Gandhian ideology.

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