Rahul Gandhi to hit poorest pockets of Chhattisgarh

April 24th, 2008 - 3:53 pm ICT by admin  

Raipur, April 24 (IANS) Congress MP Rahul Gandhi is set to hit some of the poorest tribal pockets of Chhattisgarh for two days starting Friday. The trip will take him into areas that are considered Maoist strongholds. More than 5,000 police personnel have been deployed in stretches of Surguja in the state’s north and Bastar in the south to ensure a smooth show for 37-year-old Rahul.

The road show is part of his ‘Discover India’ tour’ but comes ahead of assembly polls in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled state in November.

State Congress president Charandas Mahant said Thursday that Gandhi would be landing Friday morning and visit the Surguja and Korba districts but there was a strong probability of a last minute alteration in his itinerary.

On the concluding day of the trip Saturday, Rahul is expected to travel to Bastar and Kanker districts.

He plans to meet artisans in Bastar who are famous for their craftsmanship and will meet tribals in a few interior villages to “closely experience tribal culture and their life”.

Party leaders claim the young parliamentarian will extensively discuss with tribals two flagship projects of the Congress-led central government - the Tribal Rights Bill and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).

Political analysts say Rahul’s maiden trip to the state would boost the morale of party workers in the fractious Chhattisgarh Congress ahead of assembly polls.

Congress leaders feel Rahul can effectively woo Scheduled Tribes - comprising 33 percent of the state’s 20.08 million population. This section had traditionally voted for Congress but deserted the party in the November 2003 polls.

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