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Rahul, Bill Gates visit Amethi; meet aam-aadmi

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - 23:13

Amethi: "Namaste. Mein Rahul hoon (I am
Rahul Gandhi)." This is how the Congress leader introduced
himself to an elderly patient in a ward at the Indira Gandhi
Hospital in Munshiganj here on Tuesday.

"Baba, aap kaise hain (How are you)?" The MP from Amethi
asked 70-year-old Shivram, suffering from old age problems and
undergoing treatment in the hospital.

As Rahul, accompanied by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates,
moved ahead, some old patients nudged each other, pointing out
at the young Congress leader as "Rajiv ka beta (Rajiv Gandhi`s

The late former Prime Minister had represented Amethi in
the Lok Sabha four times and old timers still find it easy to
place Rahul as Rajiv Gandhi`s son.

During his hour-long stay in the hospital, Rahul
personally asked about the health conditions of the aged
patients and found out how their treatment was going on.

39-year-old Rahul was taken by surprise when a patient
asked him about his mother Sonia and sister Priyanka.

"Sonia (who represents neighbouring Rae Bareli in the Lok
Sabha) and Priyanka are household names in the twin
constituencies associated with the Nehru-Gandhi family," a
local Congress leader said.
Rahul also visited the Out Patient Department (OPD) of
the hospital.

After landing at the Fursatganj airstrip, Rahul and Gates
drove to Bahadurpur village in Jais town and addressed a
meeting of Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojna, a self-help
group of women.

Gates explained the importance of computer education and
promised to try his best to develop Amethi and adjoining Rae
Bareli as an IT hub.

The two then visited Shahgarh Block Primary School where
an eye care and cataract camp has been set up.

Gates evinced keen interest in the facilities there and
interacted with the patients.

They met health workers and found out what problems they
are facing in carrying out the job efficiently.

"Rahul`s visit this time appears similar to the tour
undertaken by the Congress leader in January last year when he
had spent a night along with British Foreign Secretary David
Miliband in a ramshackle hut belonging to Shivkumari Kori, a
poor Dalit, at Simara village in Amethi," a local leader said.

During his day-long visit to his constituency, Rahul
stopped at an SBI branch in Gauriganj and asked the manager
about the number of self-help groups (SHGs) holding accounts
in the bank. Rahul has opened a number women`s SHGs in his


First Published: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - 23:13
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