High security for Rahul’s election rallies in Bengal

April 23rd, 2009 - 7:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Rahul Gandhi Kolkata, April 23 (IANS) Amidst high security, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi will be on a whirlwind tour to the Maoist belt and northern part of West Bengal Friday to canvass support for party candidates in the Lok Sabha polls.
Gandhi will arrive in the city Friday morning and immediately set out for Purulia to hold his first meeting. His next stop-over will be Bankura, from where state Congress executive president Subrata Mukherjee is in fray.

Gandhi will then hop over in a chopper to Malda South and Jalpaiguri in north Bengal, before returning to Kolkata the same day.

The two western districts of Bankura and Purulia are considered hotbeds of Maoist activities in the state, prompting the police to throw an enhanced security cover for the young leader.

With the Maoists intensifying their attacks in various states ahead of and during the poll process, the police are not willing to take any chances.

“We have taken all measures to grant him full security. The steps will be as per the threat perception to Gandhi,” state Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia told IANS here.

Bankura superintendent of police Vishal Garg said: “We are fully prepared to prevent any breach of peace. Adequate number of policemen have been deployed for the meeting.”

Purulia police superintendent Rajesh Yadav said apart from the presence of the Sepcial Protection Group, which provides security to him round the year, there will be a large force of state police personnel at the venue and along Gandhi’s route from the helipad to the nearby venue.

Gandhi’s visit has generated great enthusiasm among his party workers.

“We will welcome him with tribal dances and tribal music in Bankura,” Subrata Mukherjee told IANS.

Asked how such VIP meetings help in elections, Mukherjee said: “Basically it acts as a tonic for the workers and boost their confidence levels.”

On Saturday, the state will play host to three election meetings of Rahul’s mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

She is slated to begin with a joint rally alongside alliance partner Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee at Murshidabad district’s Jangipur, from where External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee is in the race.

Her other two rallies are at Siliguri and Malda North in North Bengal the same day.

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