Rahul Gandhi takes boat ride to visit flood-hit villages

August 21st, 2008 - 10:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Sultanpur (Uttar Pradesh), Aug 21 (IANS) It was a pleasant surprise for the 900-odd families of flood affected villages of this Uttar Pradesh district when Congress MP Rahul Gandhi Thursday crossed the swollen Gomti river in a boat to reach them and assure them of all possible help.On the first day of a three-day visit to his parliamentary constituency of Amethi, Gandhi, general secretary of the All India COngress Committee (AICC), paid a number of surprise visits to people.

Before attending a meeting of the newly-elected village panchayat members in Semrauta village, Gandhi stopped at a couple of primary schools and checked the newly constructed computer facilities there.

Though the Gandhi scion made it a point to keep a distance from the media, the participants of “confidential” meetings revealed the contents and decisions later.

“Rahul admitted to the lack of proper communication with the rural and grass root level functionaries and workers of the Congress and promised to improve it. He also asked for suggestions to strengthen the rural vote bank,” revealed Lal Pratap Singh, a senior office bearer of the Rae Bareli district Congress committee.

Gandhi blamed the Uttar Pradesh government for what he termed its lethargic approach in implementing central government schemes and promised around a dozen new schemes in the next eight to nine months, Singh added.

After his much-talked about two-hour visit to the flood affected villages, Gandhi visited the homes of a few boatmen.

The villagers requested him to make some arrangements to cross the river in order to arrange for food.

“I promise to get a pontoon bridge constructed on the river as soon as possible,” he assured the boatmen.

Over two dozen villages have been hit by floods in the district, affecting over 3,000 people of 900 families, administrative officials informed mediapersons.

On Friday, the second day of his visit, Gandhi will attend a kabaddi match between the teams of two inter colleges of the district, and lay the foundation of a number of central government projects, Congress spokesperson A.P. Singh told IANS.

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