A day before he concludes his month-long “Kisan Yatra”, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi Wednesday visited Islamic seminary Darul Uloom, Deoband, in Saharanpur where he met Vice-Chancellor Mufti Abdul Qasim Nomani and students.
Later in the day, in an official communication, the seminary stated that Rahul Gandhi “acquired information about the history of Darul Uloom and its system of education” and also “expressed his wish to learn about Islam and applauded Darul Uloom’s role in leading the freedom struggle and promoting National integrity.”
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Rahul, who spent the day in Saharanpur, accompanied by party’s newly appointed state vice-president Imran Masood, held a ‘khaat sabha’ too where he targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his claim over “Gujarat Model”. Rahul said that except for two or three industrialists, no on was happy in Gujarat. The Congress vice-president claimed instead of giving money to poor, the Prime Minister “wrote off debt of more than Rs 1 lakh crore of 15 businessmen”.
He told farmers that they too can get their loans waived off by Union Minister Arun Jaitely, but only if they visit his office wearing a suit. “Suit-boot pehan ke Jaitley ji ke office mein jaiye aur karza maaf karaiye,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Rahul inaugurated “Vipassana” centre at Bamiyan Buddha Vihar. He told the gathering that he has been practicing Vipassana, a sort of Buddhist meditation, for past 20 years.
On Thursday, the last day of the yatra, Rahul would first hold a road show in Meerut and then address road side meetings in Ghaziabad. He is scheduled to reach Delhi in the afternoon where he would hold a road side meeting at Hassanpur Depot. He would then visit Vijay Ghat, Raj Ghat, Kisan Ghat and also visit Samadhi Sthals and later Sangharsha Sthal as well. He is scheduled to address his last meeting at “Sansad Marg” Delhi in the evening.
The Congress, meanwhile, said Rahul will take his battle for farmers to Parliament now.
“This yatra was to highlight the problems of farmers. Rahul Gandhi listened to their issues and amplified them and collected 75 lakh mang patras from farmers,” Congress spokesperson RPN Singh said.
During the yatra there were 26 roadshows and 700 meeting points, he said, adding Rahul covered 141 assembly constituencies.
“Rahul Gandhi will fight for the farmers from streets to the Parliament. We will put pressure on the government to act and help the Indian farmers,” Singh said.
Gandhi’s yatra is considered significant given the fact that the Congress has been in political wilderness in the electorally crucial state for the last 27 years. The exercise was seen as an attempt to make the Congress party relevant force in the state, whose politics has been dominated by the regional parties for last decade.
Congress could win only two of Uttar Pradesh’s 80 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 general elections.