In what has come as an embarrassment for the grand old party, there was chaos soon after Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Khat Sabha’ ended in Rudrapur of Uttar Pradesh’s Dewaria district as the locals began fighting for ‘khats’ (wooden cots).
The farmers, who attended the Sabha, were seen decamping with the ‘khats’. Out of the 4,000 cots to be used during these ‘khat sabhas’, around 1500 were used in Dewaria alone. It should be noted a khat usually costs around Rs. 750 to Rs. 800.
The Congress vice-president had earlier in the day launched his poll-campaign for the much important 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly polls with a 2,500 km-long ‘Kisan Yatra’ from agriculture-dominated Rudrapur belt of the state.
The ‘Deoria to Dilli yatra’, which started from Panchlari Kritpura village, was marked by a door-to-door campaign of collecting ‘Kisan Mangpatras’ (charters of farmers demands), one-to-one interaction with farmers through Khaat (cot) Sabhas.
The concept is similar to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Chai par Charcha’ during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and Nitish Kumar’s `Har Ghar Dastak` campaign during the 2015 Bihar Assembly polls. All these campaigns have been designed by publicity man Prashant Kishor.
However, ‘Chai par Charcha’ and `Har Ghar Dastak` campaigns turned out to be successful because they were directed at the grass-root level, to the people living in towns and villages, and not at the big stakeholders and the elite class.
It would be interesting to see whether Rahul’s ‘Khat Sabhas’ would do the same magic and yield the Congress Party a much-needed victory in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.