Assembly elections in Maharashtra just eight days away, top leadership of both the BJP and the Congress will campaign in the state today. Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief and Union minister Amit Shah are in the state. The Prime Minister has addressed the people in Jalgaon and Amit Shah is in Kolhapur.
For the Congress, Rahul Gandhi will campaign at two places in Mumbai. This would be the first public appearance by the Congress leader since the Lok Sabha elections. Following the party's abysmal performance, Mr Gandhi had quit the party chief's post.
The 49-year-old, who has since been accused of "walking away" instead of rebuilding the Congress party, will campaign in seats in Mumbai that the Congress hopes to win - Chandivali and Dharavi.
The candidates are Naseem Khan and Varsha Gaikwad.
After the Lok Sabha defeat, the Congress has seen the complete absence of its top leaders in the Maharashtra campaign. Over the last 3 months the Congress has lost at least 8 members, who are contesting from BJP and Shiv Sena.
Last week, the Congress faced revolt from a key leader of the party in the state, where the party won only one seat out of 48. The factionalism, which was one of the causes of the defeat, did not abate and has now flared up over ticket distribution. In a series of tweets, senior Maharashtra leader Sanjay Nirupam declared that he would stay away from the campaign and threatened to quit.
The faction-ridden party has forged an alliance with Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress party.
Both Uddhav Thackeray and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had attacked Rahul Gandhi for holidaying in Bangkok during the campaign period.
Maharashtra votes on October 21 and the votes will be counted on October 24.
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