PM, Sonia, Rahul to address rally Sunday


New Delhi: Coinciding with the Himachal Pradesh election, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and general secretary Rahul Gandhi will address a mega rally here Sunday.

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Tens of thousands of party workers are expected to throng the Ramlila ground in the heart of the capital in what is expected to be a clear show of strength at a time when the Congress is under all round attack.

The rally will be attended by all Congress chief ministers, state unit chiefs, heads of block and district units, MPs, legislators and leaders of the party’s frontal organisations.

The rally will be followed by an informal review-cum-strategy meet Nov 9 at Surajkund, near Delhi.

Taking part in the Surajkund meet will be Congress Working Committee members, general secretaries in charge of states, cabinet ministers and ministers of state with independent charge.

At Sunday’s rally, the prime minister and Sonia Gandhi are expected to explain the government’s recent push for economic reforms, especially the move to allow FDI in retail trade.

The mass rally comes at a time when Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy has accused the Congress of violating law by giving loan to the Associated Newspapers and asked the Election Commission to de-recognize it.

India Against Corruption has also accused Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi, and new External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid of corruption.

It has also implicitly accused Manmohan Singh of bowing to Reliance Industries and of shunting out S. Jaipal Reddy from the petroleum ministry for allegedly standing up to Reliance.

Himachal Pradesh, where the Congress is desperate to oust the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from power, votes Sunday. Gujarat goes to the polls in December.