Sonia on a whirlwind tour of Rae Bareli

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

RAE BARELI - Congress president Sonia Gandhi went on a whirlwind tour of Rae Bareli Tuesday, the second day of her three-day visit to her Lok Sabha constituency.

Driving through the dusty roads from one village to another, she made unscheduled halts at various places, acknowledging the cheers of the locals.

She was also bombarded with complaints regarding deficiencies in implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) and other social security schemes.

Many complained to her about harassment by the local police, while quite a few sought her assistance for medical treatment.

The only programme on her official itinerary was unveiling of a statue of well known Hindi poet, litterateur and social reformer Acharya Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi in the latter’s native village of Daulatpur.

The unveiling ceremony was followed by a short speech, in which she preferred to limit herself to paying rich tributes to the poet who died in 1938.

Even though her partymen claimed that there was no political agenda behind the visit to Dwivedi’s household, observers were of the view that the exercise was targeted at wooing Brahmins.

Hailing Dwivedi as a poet and litterateur of high stature, Sonia said he always accorded a special place to women.

“What impressed me most was Pandit Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi’s gesture of keeping his late wife’s portrait in between the deities of Godess Saraswati and Godess Lakshmi in the family’s private temple,” she said.

Sonia Gandhi said that respect for women is the basic imperative for social reform in any society.

“Acharya Dwivedi was also a great social reformer and fought against social evils like caste system and other hypocritical social practices. He also was a great advocate of women empowerment and worked tirelessly for ensuring better position for women in the society,” she said.

She will return to New Delhi Friday.

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