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Rahul Gandhi hits the UP poll trail

March 20, 2007
It is inevitable that there would be high drama when the scion of Jawaharlal Nehru's family graces Uttar Pradesh's political landscape notwithstanding the fact that the Congress Party's electoral fortunes may have been on a roller-coaster for sometime in India's political heartland.

The big question over the next six to seven weeks will be whether the Nehru-Gandhi magic can translate into votes.

In his first day of outing from South Delhi to Ghaziabad, on the outskirts of Delhi to Mavana via Muradnagar, Modinagar and Meerut proved that in striking a chord with the common people, Rahul has a long, long way to go.

For Rahul Gandhi, when he took his plunge as the flag carrier of the Congress' election campaign in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, the challenge is immense. For every positive in him his detractors are quoting a negative.

Charisma, he certainly possesses, but Congressmen claim, not as much as his sister Priyanka.

His well-wishers and detractors are asking can he lead the estranged UP electorate back to the Congress fold in sufficient numbers. Can he energise the large constituency of young voters in UP?

He is evidently ambitious but he is looked as a leader without a sense of space and high-voltage energy. Bahut der kar di nikalne main (he is quite late in hitting the streets), claim his party's workers in Western UP.

Reportage: Sheela Bhatt in Mawana, Hastinapur district, Uttar Pradesh

Also see: Complete coverage: The battle for Uttar Pradesh

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