Rahul Gandhi on ‘Discover India’ trip to OrissaMarch 7th, 2008 - 9:28 pm ICT by admin
Bhubaneswar, March 7 (IANS) Congress MP Rahul Gandhi Friday travelled to the interior of Orissa, interacted with poor tribespersons, ate with them and promised all help as he began the first day of his four-day trip to the state. Hundreds of people, including women and children, milled around the Amethi MP Friday as he visited villages in Nuapada district and in the drought-prone district of Kalahandi, known for its starvation deaths.
In Balabhadrapur in Kalahandi, Gandhi met people of the Dangaria Kandh community, a primitive tribe, and attended a mass feast with them.
Addressing a public meeting later at Bhabanipatna, the district headquarters of Kalahandi, Gandhi said his late father Rajiv Gandhi along with his mother, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, had visited the region earlier and he had an emotional bond with them.
He promised them he would continue to maintain the same relations in the future.
Earlier, speaking to tribal people at Tangiripada hamlet in Nuapada district, he said that the underdeveloped Kalahandi, Bolangir and Koraput regions need more government attention.
“The government should give more stress to developmental activities in the underdeveloped KBK (Kalahandi, Bolangir and Koraput) region,” Rahul said.
He lamented that the KBK region was still educationally backward and said without education the region will not progress.
“Ek taraf ek Hindustan hai jo teji se age badh raha hai, aur dusre taraf ek Hindustan hai jo piche raha gaya hai (One part of India is going ahead, while the other part is lagging behind),” the young Gandhi said in Hindi. “Us Hindustan ko age lana hai (That part of India has to be taken forward),” he said.
He also spoke of the National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme and said people should take its benefit.
Earlier, he had travelled from Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh in a helicopter and landed at Nangalboard helipad in Nuapada, some 450 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, at around 10 a.m.
The Congress general secretary travelled by road to Tangiripada, a hamlet of around 120 people, located one and a half kilometres from the helipad.
Thousands of people greeted him wherever he stopped as he began the trip that was earlier labelled ‘Discover India’ by the Congress.
However, it is now being termed as Rahul’s familiarisation trip with Youth Congress units across India.
Senior Congress leaders welcomed him with garlands and flowers.
Rahul Gandhi will travel by helicopter and by road to several villages and towns in around 13 districts, including many considered as Congress strongholds. Some areas are also Maoist affected.
On March 10, he will visit the state Congress office at Bhubaneswar and meet party functionaries. State Congressmen said the visit would help the party regain strength in the state.
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