The Congress hopes it signals a reversal in the way the state's powerful Patidar community will vote in this year's assembly election - they have for years been staunch supporters of the BJP - and Rahul Gandhi will attempt during his tour to harness the Patel anger against the BJP government for refusing to meet their demand for reservation in government colleges and jobs.
Denied permission to hold a road show in an open jeep in the ancient town of Dwarka, the Congress vice president will ride a bullock cart through Hanjdapar village in Dwarka district for a few to interact with farmers in the district, which is dominated by Other Backward Caste (OBCs). The party hopes to capitalise politically on anger amongst farmers over inadequate support price
During his tour, Mr Gandhi will also hold multiple meetings with traders, hoping to tap into unhappiness over what his party calls the faulty implementation of the Goods and Services Tax or GST and with farmers, who have been protesting over support prices for crops.
The Gujarat Congress - which has attacked the ruling BJP with an aggressive social media campaign focused on civic issues like pot-holed roads - as also coined the slogan Yuva Rozgar Kheduat Adhikar or Youth Employment and Farmers Rights, indicating that Mr Gandhi will focus on wooing these segments in the region.
The Congress began its Gujarat campaign much later than the BJP, whose chief Amit Shah has made multiple visits to the state since early this year and has tasked his party with winning 150 of the state's 182 assembly seats in the elections, to be held by December. Rahul Gandhi had visited the state last month to kick off his party's campaign.
The opposition party has also been beset with internal problems like a rebellion by its most senior leader Shankarsinh Vaghela, who quit the party along with his supporters and has launched a new party, seen to be a move to help the BJP by cutting into the Congress' votes.
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