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AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi shaking hands with farmers during the third-day of his padyatra near Kirpalpur village in Uttar Pradesh - PTI.
Braving heavy rains, farmers and Congress workers today gathered here for the 'kisan mahapanchayat', marking the culmination of Rahul Gandhi's four-day foot march in Uttar Pradesh.
Travelling in buses, trucks and tractor-trolleys, the villagers arrived from the wee hours at the sprawling Nomaish Ground here, amid tight security. Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid, Union Ministers Sachin Pilot and Jitin Prasad and state unit president Rita Bahuguna Joshi were among those present.
Heavy rains, however, led to waterlogginng at the venue and also damaged the waterproof tents erected for the assembly to be addressed by Rahul. But the crowds soon began to surge as the showers stopped. "We have come here because we are hopeful that Rahul Gandhi's leadership will herald change in Uttar Pradesh," said a Congress leader from Meerut J P Singh, who has been camping here since last night. With Congress leaders and workers thronging the town, no hotel accommodation was available in the area. Huge posters of Rahul Gandhi dominated the complex.
Four big hoardings on the stage had pictures of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Rahul, Joshi and AICC incharge for UP Digvijay Singh. A muti-tier security ring was in place in and around the venue. On Thursday, Rahul faced a security scare when a young man carrying a licensed revolver was detained while trying to move close to him in Tappal during the 'padyatra'. Rahul yesterday wound up his foot march through the dusty heartlands of rural Uttar Pradesh and returned to Delhi.
Describing the padayatra as an unforgettable experience that has enlightened him of the farmers problems, the Gandhi scion had said, "I have learnt a lot after talking to you. I am young and from you I have gained a world of knowledge on land acquisition issues...I can never forget all this all my lifetime and the fact that I am taking back so much from you.
Hope, Rahul has truly learn the problems of the people there and will work, sincerely, to the redressal of them !
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