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Rahul Gandhi to address Congress rally in Odisha on Friday

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: January 24, 2019  | 22:03 IST

Bhubaneswar, Jan 24 (PTI) Congress president Rahul Gandhi is set to kickstart the party's poll campaign in Odisha on Friday at a rally near here, the party said Thursday. Gandhi's visit comes close on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's back-to-back visits to the state. The visit is crucial for uniting the party cadre in the state where several senior leaders including two MLAs quit the party recently, a party leader said. Assembly election would be held along with Lok Sabha polls in Odisha soon. Besides addressing the rally, christened as 'Parivartan Sankalp Samavesh' at Tamando Stadium on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, the Congress chief is slated to meet intellectuals during his day-long visit here, party sources said. He will also meet employees of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). "There is a lot of enthusiasm among party workers ahead of Rahulji's visit to the state. His visit will certainly motivate them ahead of the elections," Congress' Odisha in-charge Jitendra Singh told reporters here. Singh, who along with Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik, inspected the venue of Gandhi's public meeting, said the AICC chief will visit Odisha every month till the elections. Gandhi's tour follows Modi's three visits to the state since December, the latest being on January 15 to the western Odisha town of Balangir. Modi's high-profile tours will be followed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah's tour on January 29 and February 3, a senior party leader said. Shah's scheduled visit to the state on January 18 was cancelled because of his illness. PTI AAM SKN NN RHL

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