Rahul breaks security cordons, interacts with Orissa tribals

March 9th, 2008 - 12:17 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi

Bhubaneswar, March 8 (IANS) Thousands of people greeted Congress MP Rahul Gandhi when he travelled through parts of Orissa Saturday, breaking security cordons and telling tribals displaced by development projects that he would take up their causes. Gandhi, in the state for a four-day visit since Friday, visited several towns and villages in southern and western Orissa, met a cross section of people and addressed public rallies as part of what was originally dubbed his ‘Discover India’ trip by the Congress party.

Addressing crowds, Gandhi spoke about education, poverty and displacement and also discussed welfare of the tribals.

Addressing a public meeting at Gunpur in the southern district of Rayagada, the Congress general secretary gave a call to the youth to join politics in large numbers and said they should make their voices heard.

The youths of the country are neglected a lot amid growing unemployment and they need to take a pledge to become self-reliant through hard work, he said.

The young Gandhi also assured them more space in his party’s set-up.

He also visited a state-run sports hostel at Panposh near the steel city of Rourkela in Sundergarh district that houses about 100 hockey players including 48 girls.

The inmates complained about problems the game faces due to lack of government support.

“I will do something concrete for the development of hockey,” Gandhi assured them.

After having lunch with the residents, the 37-year-old leader then proceeded to attend a public meeting at Bamra in the neighbouring district of Sambalpur.

Thousands of people including women and children standing on either side of the road greeted him as his vehicle passed. The young leader broke security cordons in many places to interact with them.

Many people complained to him that they had been displaced by various steel plants set up in the locality.

Addressing a gathering of about 40,000 people at Bamra, Gandhi said the tribal, Dalit and poor people were losing their lands for projects but authorities were not listening to their problems.

Gandhi said he was with them and would fight for their interest.

Gandhi, MP from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son, is travelling by helicopter and by road to villages and towns in at least 13 districts.

On Monday, he will visit the state Congress office at Bhubaneswar and meet party functionaries.

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