Congress president Sonia Gandhi virtually kicked off her parliamentary election campaign in Rae Bareli on Wednesday by inaugurating the Lalganj rail coach factory in her Lok Sabha constituency.
She arrived in Rae Bareli on a two-day visit on Wednesday morning. Her daughter Priyanka will arrive in Rae Bareli on Thursday for an intensive two-day interaction with representatives from all assembly constituencies of Rae Bareli.
The Congress had failed to win even one of the five assembly seats in the Rae Bareli parliamentary constituency in the election earlier this year. Interestingly, Rahul Gandhi is also arriving in his neighbouring constituency of Amethi on a two-day visit from Thursday.
The Congress president flagged off 20 new air-conditioned coaches manufactured at this factory to mark the inauguration in the presence of railway minister Pawan Bansal. Sonia described the factory as a “big example of development” for Rae Bareli. Without naming then chief minister Mayawati, she referred to the problems faced in bringing up the the factory. Mayawati had created hurdles in the handing over of land for the factory in 2007.
Sonia had laid the foundation stone for the rail coach factory in 2007 when Laloo Prasad Yadav was railway minister. She laid the foundation stone once again in 2009 just before the Lok Sabha election, in an apparent bid to cash in on the project in terms of votes.
Sonia said the rail coach factory would open up employment opportunities for the local youth. She said one job was being given to each family from which land had been taken for the factory. “Because of this factory, a number of small industries will come up in this area which would bring new opportunities of employment for the youth of Rae Bareli,” Sonia said.