Within a gap of seven hours, two high-profile but diametrically opposite campaigns in this city set the tone for the coming Maharashtra Assembly elections. While Congress President Sonia Gandhi pitched for an inclusive growth with greater emphasis on poorer and backward section, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray's high-decibel slogans catered only for the 'Marathi issue'.
In Nashik, the ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance is trying to gain space between the cross-fires of the Shiv Sena and its rebel offshoot MNS. As both Sena and the MNS hail Shivaji, Gandhi attacked both the parties saying: "Here, there are some people who resort to the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji to fulfil their political or personal interests. These people should not be trusted."
Extending the party's pet theme of the last Lok Sabha elections, Gandhi also started her election campaign in Maharashtra over the claim that only her party could take care of all sections of the society. "What do the other parties offer? Nothing really significant. They (the Opposition) know only to play with your sentiments. Only the Congress respects all religions, areas and sentiments," she said.