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Rahul tours UP to bolster Cong poll prospects

In a bid to galvanise the Congress in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the Assembly elections early next year, Rahul Gandhi on Thursday asked the youth to revive the party and in the process rid the state of Mayawati`s "misrule".



Gorakhpur: In a bid to galvanise the Congress
in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the Assembly elections early next
year, Rahul Gandhi on Thursday asked the youth to revive the party
and in the process rid the state of Mayawati`s "misrule".

On a two-day visit to the state, where Congress is trying
to regain its lost moorings, Gandhi said the youth leaders
must expose the "anti-people and anti-farmer policies" of the
BSP government.
"The youth should fan out among the masses and propagate
the Centre`s people-oriented policies and programmes, and at
the same time take the opportunity to apprise voters of the
anti-people and anti-farmer policies of the state government,"
he said.

He was addressing the party`s youth brigade at Syed Modi
stadium here.

"Work at grassroot level and be sensitive towards the
problems of common man," was Gandhi`s refrain during his
interaction with the Youth Congress workers.

Senior Congress leaders including PCC chief Rita Bahuguna
Joshi, Youth Congress office bearers and leaders from seven
districts of Gorakhpur and Basti divisions in eastern UP were
present.

After his Kisan Sandesh Yatra in western UP earlier this
month where he undertook foot march from villages in Gautam
Buddha Nagar to Aligarh, this is his second mass contact
programme in the state.

41-year-old Gandhi faces a tough challenge in Uttar
Pradesh, where he succeeded in reviving the Congress by
ensuring its victory in 22 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in 2009.

Seeking to establish direct contact with people in the
countryside, Gandhi stopped at a roadside kiosk near
Dhuriyapar sugar mill to have snacks on his way to Mau.

"It was a pleasant surprise," shopkeeper Ramdin Gupta
said, adding, the Congress leader enjoyed "pakauras and
namkeen" (deep-fried snacks).
During his brief stopover, the Congress leader also
interacted with villagers and heard their woes relating to
water, power and road connectivity.

Gandhi also undertook a boat ride to reach Kataka village
in Piprauli block to hold a `chaupal` (villagers` meeting).

In Santkabirnagar district, he paid obeisance at the
samadhi of poet Kabirdas.

In Mau district, he addressed a meeting of youths as part
of his Congress membership drive.

He said youths should come forward in a big way to make
people aware of the welfare schemes initiated by the UPA
government at the Centre for the benefit of the rural poor.

On the second day of his stay in the state, Gandhi will
undertake a similar exercise of widening the party`s base
among youths by holding meetings at Varanasi and Ballia.

In course of his visit, Gandhi will also interact with
potential candidates for the upcoming Assembly polls.

Elections for 403 Assembly seats in UP are to be held in
early 2012.

During his political programmes in Uttar Pradesh, the
Congress General secretary made a surprise visit to Saint
Kabir`s samadhi (mazar) at Maghar, 26 km from Gorakhpur, and
offered tributes to the great guru.

The memorial of Kabir Das, revered by both Hindus and
Muslims, stands as symbol of communal harmony.

PTI

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