Gandhi takes Gates on whirlwind visit to Amethi, Rae Bareli

May 11th, 2010 - 2:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Rahul Gandhi By Sharat Pradhan
Jais (Uttar Pradesh), May 11 (IANS) Microsoft chief Bill Gates and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi arrived here Tuesday for a day-long visit aimed at giving the global philanthropist a glimpse of social development work in the two ‘Gandhi constituencies’ of Rae Bareli and Amethi.

While Rae Bareli is Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s parliamentary constituency, her son Rahul represents Amethi.

Gates and Rahul Gandhi, both dressed in white, flew in a chartered aircraft from New Delhi and landed at the Indira Gandhi Flying Academy in Fursatganj town, about 10 km from here, in Rae Bareli.

They drove down to Jais, named after famous Sufi poet Malik Mohammad Jaisi, where Gates, accompanied by an entourage of eight, and Gandhi visited the Rajiv Gandhi Women’s Training Centre run by the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust.

There was heavy security as the group interacted with about 300 women actively associated with the women’s self help groups formed here with Gandhi’s personal initiative.

Women involved with different NGOs funded by the charitable trust gathered at the training centre well before the arrival of the VVIPs.

While Gandhi and Gates were driven inside the tall gates at the centre, the rest of their entourage followed them on foot after disembarking outside.

More than 100 police personnel were detailed to provide security cover from outside while Gandhi and Gates also had their own personal guards to maintain the inner ring around them.

Gandhi, who chose to keep the Gates visit a closely guarded secret, completely shunned the media as well as party workers. Even state Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi learnt about the visit through the media.

Local Congress leaders said Gandhi will also take Gates to a village in his constituency Amethi where a similar self-help group activity is to be showcased before the Microsoft boss. They will also visit a health camp run by the Rajiv Gandhi trust.

Gates and Gandhi then drove down to Amethi. They will fly back to New Delhi later in the afternoon after the Congress MP’s condolence visit to the residence of a Congress worker who was murdered recently.

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