Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi met leaders from the cooperative sector, sugar mills and Halpati community, at Sardar Ashram here on Saturday afternoon.
Accompanied by Union Minister of State for Roads, Highways and Transport and Congress MP from Bardoli Dr Tushar Chaudhary, party’s general secretary in charge of Gujarat Gurudas Kamat and other party leaders, Rahul covered over 1 km distance from Vibrant Chokdi in Bardoli town to Sardar Ashram on foot, marking the end of the Gujarat Pradesh Yuva Morcha’s statewide padayatra that began January 18.
At the Sardar Ashram, Rahul Gandhi met Bhikhubhai Patel and Dilipbhai Bhakta, president and vice-president of Sardar Ashram. Bhikhubhai said, “We briefed him on the history of the Sardar ashram. Sardar Patel came here, on the orders of Mahatma Gandhi, and started a movement to abolish the revenue tax imposed on farmers by the British government in 1928. Rahul spent some time in Sardar Patel’s room. The ashram also runs a girls school and khadi and furniture workshops.
Later, leaders of ten sugar mills of South Gujarat met Rahul and handed a memorandum requesting him to look into their harassment by income-tax officials.
Valod Sugar mill secretary Hasmukhbhai Bhakta said, “Our mills run on no profit, no loss basis and even now we are getting show-cause notice from Income tax department. We explained to Rahul how the cooperative sector came into existence and how it works with the participation of farmers. After hearing us out, Rahulji instructed Mr Kamat to look into the issue.
Rahul also spent some time with the girl students of Class VII, IX and X in the ashram schools. He asked them about their life at the Sardar Ashram.