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Thin attendance forces Congress to cancel Rahul Gandhi rallies in UP

Author: IANS
Publication: India Today
Date: October 12, 2013
URL: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/congress-cancels-rahul-gandhi-rallies-%20%20%20in-up-on-oct-22/1/314342.html

Faced with the prospects of thin attendance owing to Hindu festival 'Karvachauth', the Congress has cancelled two rallies of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh Oct 22.

While Congress leaders are attributing this for the axing of the rallies at Hamirpur and Salempur, other sources say the Congress was unhappy with the poor turnout at Gandhi's rallies this week in Aligarh and Rampur.

At both Aligarh and Rampur, the crowds were much below Congress expectations. After his return to the capital, Gandhi is learnt to pulled up Congress leaders from Uttar Pradesh, the sources said.

As Uttar Pradesh remains crucial for the Congress electoral arithmetic, the poor show was "certainly a cause for worry" for the party, a party leader said. The Congress holds 22 of the state's 80 Lok Sabha seats.

Rahul Gandhi is to address eight rallies across Uttar Pradesh this year. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced nine rallies to be addressed by its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

The ruling Samajwadi Party is slated to hold 18 rallies.

The thin attendance at Gandhi's rallies has been ridiculed by his opponents.

Urban Development Minister and Samajwadi Party leader Mohd Azam Khan said more people come out to catch a glimpse of him (Khan) any given day.

BJP state spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said the thin attendance at Gandhi's meetings were not surprising. "We all know that people are dead set against the Congress," Pathak said.
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