Patna, Apr 5 (PTI) A campaign to revive the Congress in Bihar at grassroots level will be kicked off here later this week in presence of newly-appointed AICC in-charge of the state Shakti Singh Gohil.

During the suggestively titled Aamantran Yatra , which will commence from Sadaqat Ashram, BPCC headquarters,on Sunday, party leaders will make a bid for ghar wapasi (home coming) of those who had been Congress supporters for generations but changed their political preferences in the recent past.

In Congress organisational revamp under new President Rahul Gandhi, Gohil has been made party in-charge of Bihar in place of C P Joshi.

The programme for the Aamantran Yatra, which will cover three districts in as many days beginning April 8, was chalked out at a BPCC meeting yesterday. The AICC in-charge is likely to accompany state leaders during the tour of Sheohar, Sitamarhi and Muzaffarpur districts in the first phase , BPCC working president Kaukab Qadri told PTI here today.

We believe that the Congress has no dearth of sympathizers in Bihar, which had been a party stronghold in the past. We just need to win them back, ensure their ghar wapasi. The state is the land where Gandhi began his mass-mobilization experiments. Congress in Bihar, is therefore, not merely a political party but an organization synonymous with the Independence movement , Qadri said.

During the Amantran Yatra, we will make it a point to meet freedom fighters. Youths belonging to such families could have a natural affinity towards the Congress, especially in the wake of the rising unemployment in the country. We will also visit villages adopted by MPs as part of the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched after coming to power with much fanfare , Qadri said.

Three districts will be covered in the first phase of the Yatra, which will eventually cover the entire state by the end of next month , he said.

Asked about the recent split suffered by the party in the legislative council, where former BPCC chief Ashok Choudhary along with three other MLCs joined Chief Minister Nitish Kumar s JD(U), Qadri said it was unfortunate but it is a thing of the past.

Choudhary had problems with the then state in-charge C P Joshi, which apparently were too much for him to remain loyal to the party that gave him so much .

He became the state unit president at a young age, was elected to the legislative council and also became a minister from the Congress quota when the Grand Alliance came to power.

But we are confident that such chapters have come to an end and we can look forward with hope .

We sincerely thank AICC president Rahul Gandhi for choosing a young and dynamic leader like Gohil as the party s in-charge for Bihar. We are confident that his leadership will energize the party s state unit to a great extent , Qadri remarked.

Congress has a total of 27 MLAs in Bihar assembly at present. Congress gained being partner in Grand Alliance with RJD and JD(U) in 2015 Bihar poll. It has two Lok Sabha members from the state out of a total of 40.

Previously in October 2005 as well 2010 state elections which the Congress had contested alone its tally in the Bihar assembly was in single digit.

After disintegration of the Grand Alliance when Nitish Kumar walked out of the coalition and later joined hands with BJP to form a new ministry in Bihar in July last year, Congress is maintaining its ties with Lalu Prasad’s party.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.