Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will address a party rally on Sunday in Kolar, the same place where he made a remark on the Modi surname for which he was convicted of criminal defamation and also stripped of his Parliament membership. According to state Congress sources, the former AICC president will arrive in Bengaluru on Sunday morning, and travel to Kolar where he will address the 'Jai Bharat' rally organised by the party. In the evening, Gandhi will inaugurate the newly constructed 'Indira Gandhi Bhavan' - office and auditorium with a seating capacity of 750 people - near Karnataka PCC office in Bengaluru.
Several senior Congress leaders including AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge, General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka Randeep Singh Surjewala, KPCC chief D K Shivakumar, legislature party leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah are expected to participate in the events. The rally was first scheduled on April 5, which was then postponed to April 9, and finally to April 16, due to poll preparation and candidate selection process, among other reasons, Congress sources said.
Gandhi was on March 23 sentenced to two years in jail by a court in Gujarat’s Surat in a 2019 criminal defamation case over his "why all thieves have the Modi surname" remark. A day later, he was disqualified from the Lok Sabha from the date of his conviction in the case. The Gandhi scion had made those remarks at Kolar in April, 2019 during the Lok Sabha poll campaign. His visit on Sunday is important for the party ahead of the May 10 Assembly elections in Karnataka.
Kolar is significant as Siddaramaiah has expressed his wish to contest from there, as his second seat. He has already been fielded from Varuna in Mysuru district. Congress has not yet named its candidate for the Kolar seat.