Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday was greeted by huge crowd in Gujarat’s Patidar villages. Rahul, who arrived in the poll-bound state for the fourth time, began his tour of north Gujarat by praying at the revered Akshardham temple, an unscheduled change in his plan, and visited the Patidar-dominated villages of the region.
He was warmly welcomed in the Patidar-dominated village of Majra with slogans of ‘Jay Sardar’ on his arrival, reported IANS. Rahul even sported a ‘Patidar’ cap during his visit to the village.
The Congress vice president also went on his scheduled visits of Chiloda and other places. On his way to Sabarkantha district, he stopped at a roadside ‘dhaba’ where he enjoyed the traditional dishes of Gujarat, like ‘fafda’ and ‘gota’.
People turned up in huge numbers to have a look at the Gandhi scion. In his corner meting at Chiloda, Rahul talked about the role of women in election.
The latest response to Rahul’s visit comes just two days after ABP-CSDS opinion poll gave a huge gain to the Congress party in the Gujarat elections, scheduled for 9 and 14 December.
One close aide of Rahul told Janta Ka Reporter that they had been pleasantly surprised by the huge response to their leader. “I would be lying if we say that this response was expected. People are willing to listen to Rahul ji and that’s quite refreshing,” said the source wishing to be unidentified.
Earlier, on his arrival at Ahmedabad airport, talking to the media Rahul said, “The people of Gujarat are unhappy with the present government, especially after the twin blows of demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation.”
Meanwhile, the Congress on Saturday claimed credit for the GST Council’s decision to cut tax rates on 178 items of daily use, saying the government was forced to do so due to the pressure mounted by party vice-president Rahul Gandhi and the “huge response” his campaign had been receiving in poll-bound Gujarat.
Leading the charge against the government on the Goods and Services Tax or GST, Mr Gandhi said the Congress would continue to fight for a 18 per cent cap on the highest GST slab instead of the current 28 per cent, and vowed that the party would get the job done “if the ruling BJP doesn’t”.
He also reiterated that India needed a simple tax and not the “Gabbar Singh Tax” as he had been describing the tax regime to target the Modi government.
Congress general secretary in-charge of Gujarat, Ashok Gehlot told news agency PTI that the GST Council yesterday decided to cut the tax rates due to the pressure mounted by Rahul Gandhi and the “huge response” he had been receiving in the poll-bound western state.