Partymen celebrate, but Rahul keeps away on 39th birthdayJune 19th, 2008 - 6:07 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) Hundreds of his supporters celebrated the day, distributing sweets, bursting crackers and cutting cakes - but Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi was nowhere to be seen on his 39th birthday Thursday. The scion of the Gandhi family was not present in his Tughlak Lane residence, though it was thronged by his supporters as they carried gifts for their leader.
According to sources, the Amethi MP was in Delhi but keeping away from the limelight.
However, the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) and National Students Union of India (NSUI) leaders celebrated the day.
“The day is being celebrated in all districts across the country in different ways. While some groups are cutting cakes to mark the occasion others are holding relief camps to give medical aid to needy children,” IYC president Ashok Tanwar told IANS.
Gandhi’s Tughlak Lane residence here had a regular stream of visitors since morning.
A crowd of around 300 people gathered at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters here to celebrate his birthday. They burst crackers, danced and distributed sweets. Several hoardings and posters were put up at the AICC office and also on Tughlak Lane.
A host of important Congress leaders sent bouquets for Rahul Gandhi. Among them were Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, union ministers V. Narayanasamy and Santosh Mohan Dev, as well as MPs and MLAs from different parts of the country.
Some leaders who thronged Gandhi’s residence returned disappointed. Among them was Madhvanand Saraswat, who had completed his fourth book on Congress president Sonia Gandhi. He released the book himself. He said he was unhappy as he could not present the book to Rahul Gandhi.
Many came in the hope that they would get their local problems redressed by Gandhi. A theatre artist from Gorakhpur, in Uttar Pradesh, Ram Prakash Bhatt wanted to inform Gandhi about an auditorium in his hometown that is still to be completed since 1987.
Some admirers came with gifts like mangoes, books, clothes, shawls and other gifts packed judiciously to keep the contents a secret.
The crowd included shopkeepers, businessmen, hoteliers, IYC and NSUI office-holders and commoners.
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Tags: aicc, amethi, chief minister, congress leaders, congress president sonia gandhi, gorakhpur, hoardings, india congress committee, iyc, mlas, national students, needy children, rahul gandhi, ram prakash, relief camps, santosh, saraswat, theatre artist, union ministers, youth congress