The Congress will take out a day-long yatra in Gujarat’s Saurashtra region on September 28 during the festival of Navratri, a senior leader said on Friday.
The yatra called ‘Chalo Congress Ke Saath Ma Ke Dwar’ (Let’s go with the Congress to the goddess’ door) will begin from Rajkot city, MLA Lalit Kagathara said.
“On September 28, we will take out the ‘Chalo Congress Ke Saath Ma Ke Dwar’ rally, which will have an impact on 25 Assembly seats in Saurashtra,” Kagathara told reporters.
The yatra will be received en route by Patidar community leader Naresh Patel at Ma Khodiyar temple revered by the region’s dominant Leuva Patidar community.
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Patel, who is the chairman of Khodaldham Temple Trust, will welcome the rally with 500 vehicles at the temple in Kagvad in Rajkot district, Kagathara said.
The rally will begin from Rajkot city and conclude at Sidsar in Junagadh district, after a visit to Gathila, he said, adding that both these places are known for temples of Maa Umiya, the reigning deity of the Kadva Patidar community.
After garlanding the statues of Sardar Patel, Indira Gandhi and Babasaheb Ambedkar in Rajkot, participants will offer prayers at Jalaram Bapa at Virpur and will reach Khodaldham temple in the district, Kagathara said.
The Congress is keeping all classes and communities together to organise the yatra, he said.
Earlier in June, Patel had announced that he would not join any political party and stick to serving his community, laying to rest months of speculation. Patel’s decision was a setback to the opposition party, which was seeking to woo the Patidar community with his support.
In 2017, the Congress had won 30 out of 54 seats in Saurashtra amid Patidar community’s disaffection with the ruling BJP over its demand for reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.
Repeating its performance in the region will be crucial for the party in the upcoming Assembly election scheduled later this year.