So near and yet so far from Rahul (Sidelights)

July 9th, 2011 - 4:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Rahul Gandhi Aligarh, July 9 (IANS) Heavy police presence at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s rally made Aligarh look like a city under siege - at least parts of it. So much so that some diehard Congress loyalists could not enter the venue.

The security arrangements at Numaish Maidan in the heart of the city were so tight that some enthusiastic supporters had to retreat in disappointment.

One was heard shouting, “I am a big Congress loyal. You cannot stop me.” A policeman shot back. “This is ‘wafadari’ (loyalty) check. If you are so Congress loyal, you shouldn’t breach security.”

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Warding off evil for Rahul

With a silvery grey moustache stretching till his ears and a stiff ponytail, Vijay Nath Tiwari had travelled all the way from a village in Firozabad district, 100 km away, to Rahul Gandhi’s rally here. But not just to meet the Congress leader.

“I have come to ward off evil from the rally. There are many evil forces to harm Rahul at this rally and I will chase them away with my magic.”

He said he was known as “Chotiwale Baba” who helped India “win the cricket World Cup”.
But how? “I am a magician,” he said.

“My next job is to ensure Rahul baba’s poll victory in Uttar Pradesh.”

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What about inflation

Amid enthusiastic Congress supporters, Sandesh Singh stood a little aloof. The 25-year-old Aligarh man, who runs a cycle repair shop, was a bit confused.

“I know Rahul Gandhi is a caring politician. But I wonder why he is not talking about rising prices. That is an issue that concerns all of us, including farmers.”

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A determined walk - for some talk

Sandesh Kumar, disabled by polio since childhood, made it slowly through the crowds to be in the front row so that he could “see Rahul closely”.

“He speaks for the poor. I want to show my enthusiasm for him, my love for him. I am not able to walk properly but I managed to come,” said Kumar, who was on crutches.

“I have one wish today. I hope Rahul sees me and talks to me,” he prayed.

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