The state unit of Congress has stepped up preparations ahead of party vice president Rahul Gandhi’s two-day visit to the border district of Hanumangarh and Jaipur on Thursday and Friday. Rahul is scheduled to interact with a large number of party workers and different sections of society during his village tours in Hanumangarh.
On Thursday morning, Rahul will be flown to Suratgarh where he is slated to hold a meeting with top district leaders and will thereafter drive to villages in Hanumangarh. Farmers in the district have been grappling with poor quality water, irregular supply from the Punjab canal, urea shortage. They will share their problems with the Congress leader.
“Polluted water from Punjab has caused rising instances of cancer and disease and there are other issues of water logging, sedimentation that need attention. This is a border district and very neglected and so we decided to go there,” said Sachin Pilot, Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee chief.
Rahul is likely to walk at least five kms in his padyatra and reach out to the local communities during his visit. In Jaipur on Friday, he will address a gathering of at least 2500 top Congress leaders including former legislators, ministers, district presidents, heads of municipalities and elected representatives at the Birla Auditorium. At a time when the party has been raising issues of Dalit atrocities, Rahul will be roped in to participate in BR Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary celebrations.
While Rahul and Congress president Sonia Gandhi have visited most other parts of the state, northern Rajasthan has been most neglected. Also Pilot and state-incharge Gurudas Kamat have toured 21 districts so far for the upcoming local body polls, but the northern districts have been unattended.
On Monday over 700 Bahujan Samaj Party members joined the Congress at a function in the state capital. Party candidates for the 2013 assembly polls, senior functionaries, office bearers and party workers shifted to Congress strengthening the principal opposition party. Pilot said that more members from the BSP are expected to join the Congress ranks.